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The Legacy of Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri (All-Time Great: Y/N?)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by MiroHa, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. MiroHa Red Belt

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    [​IMG]

    At the age of 38 Kawajiri's MMA career or at least his time as a top tier fighter is coming to its inevitable end in the near future. It's pretty safe to say that he's not going to accomplish anything major at this point except maybe a title in a smaller organisation if he leaves or gets cut by the UFC.

    Kawajiri's one of the most accomplished LW fighters ever as he has fought and defeated high level opponents in Shooto, Pride, Dream, Strikeforce and the UFC. Fighters like Kawajiri tend to be forgotten and I believe it's because there is no clear GOAT at LW like there are at every division above. A lot of people would say it's BJ but guys like Gomi, Edgar and Melendez aren't that far behind him.

    Personally I belive he's an all-time great. There aren't many guys who have his track record of fighting in top organisations for as long as he has. Some of his top wins include Vitor Ribeiro, Josh Thomson, Yves Edwards, Joachim Hansen and JZ Cavalcante. He also had two FOTY performances against Gomi (2005) and Alvarez (2008) and came to Pride as the Shooto LW champion (a major title back then). His only unavenged losses at LW came against other all-time greats (Gomi, Melendez x2, Alvarez and Aoki) and he's been competetive in the UFC in his late 30's which is impressive and unusual for lighter divisions.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. sadclown Banned Banned

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    He's a legend. But not a Goat.
     
  3. FeloniousMonk Red Belt

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    Kawajiri managed to stick out
    as a durable, strong fighter who
    always brought it & who was
    capable of beating the elite.

    ...All at a time when the lighter-
    weight brackets were in limbo
    & making a name for yourself
    was hard to do. This is evident
    in the fact that so many great
    LWs are forgotten about or rarely
    mentioned.

    Imo, crusher SHOULD go down
    as a legend in any long time
    international martial arts fan's
    proverbial "book".

    Even if just for his wars & displays
    of champion heart. Just wish he
    went for the finish a bit more...
     
  4. Bill Laimbeer Black Belt

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    He is a legend for sure. Always shows up and still pushes anyone.
     
  5. MMA Silver Belt Platinum Member

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    One of the best to ever come out of Japan. Might not have ever had the ranking legitimacy of Yushin Okami, but I think his skillset is way better. All time great? Only if we're talking about Japanese guys only
     
  6. GIBLERTBAPTISTA very allegorical

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    I think he's a bottom end top 10 ATG at LW. He was considered #1 of his division at one point, which not a lot of fighters can say. His resume is stellar: Shaolin, Thomson, Edwards, JZ, Buscape, Hansen etc. I felt like it could have been a lot better, but he was thrown a few softballs in PRIDE.
     
  7. loyalyolayal Banned Banned

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    On the cusp but was never there.
     
  8. Mangkone White Belt

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    Yes he is a true warrior, even in his losses he never disappoints.
    For that matter it's a shame he didn't get a few more wins in the UFC.
    I hope they're not going to cut him and that he gets to win some before he calls it a day.

    Anyway it's good to see a new generation of up and comers from Japan and Korea.
     
  9. Natesblackshirt Banned Banned

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    Lost to everyone good he ever fought except for Thompson. No. Legendary lay and pray game though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  10. HUNTERMANIA Always Striving.

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    legend for sure, not one of the 'greats' --- was back in mid 2000's but now many more fighters have joined 'elite' status and pushed him out of the conversation
     
  11. Nightmaree Questionmark

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  12. Koimpact Brown Belt

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    He's a great fighter with a good resume but Aoki and Gomi are still quite ahead of him imo
     
  13. Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

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    He had the shooto belt back when having the shooto belt was akin to being the #1 lightweight in the world.
    He's been fighting at the highest level for 15 years, including in Shooto, including PRIDE, UFC and even DREAM was legit as fuck in that lightweight division.

    Even though he lost his last fight, his wrestling was a thing to behold. A very distinctive style of getting takedowns, won him the first round clearly, but unfortunately he gassed hard after that.
    Plus his striking looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    He isnt close to the greatest ever, but he is certainly a legend, and a former champ as legit as any UFC or PRIDE champ. Also perhaps one of the best examples of a real GnP style fighter.

    He also fought Masato in K1 so the guy has balls too.
     
  14. HerpDerp ambitiously unambitious

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    I look at him and his legacy in a similar light as Mach Sakurai's. A legend, but not the greatest by any stretch.
     
  15. ExitLUPin K

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    Great post and agree with everything.

    Yeah he missed out on some better opponents in his prime ( he wasn't even in his prime when he completely dismantled Thomson IMO).

    Firmino, Miyata, Siver were decent wins.

    But guys Nakayama, Lax, Ekland, Yokota, Azeredo, were a meh wins like top 30ish range. Not bad fighters and considering LW depth but not top guys.

    He did have a very even fight with Cub (shouldve had point deducted and been a draw) and the Uno draw was weird. I also thought he beat Giblert but it was a very close fight
     
  16. Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

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    Damn id forgotten about that knee.
    It fucked him up. It should have been a point deduction whether it was intentional or not, because it was careless at the very least.
     
  17. HUGHPHUG ALL CAPS YO

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    Nailed it

    always loved watching his fights in Pride and Dream
     
  18. MiroHa Red Belt

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    I guess it depends what your definition of an all-time great is. Personally I think there are like 10 all-time greats for all well established weight classes (LW-HW) and IMO Kawajiri fits there. Others would be BJ, Gomi, Melendez, Aoki, Alvarez, Edgar, Cerrone, Bendo and Pettis.
     
  19. MiroHa Red Belt

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    SMH

    His top wins that I listed were all elite at the time.
     
  20. SHAZAM Black Belt

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    I rank fighters all time status based on who they beat, when and how they beat them. Shinny belts mean nothing to me. Having said that, he's top 20 All Time LW. Probably top 15. Don't know about top 10. And wtf happened to Shaolin Ribeiro, JZ, Mitsuhiro Ishida and Hellboy?
     

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