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

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

  1. MiroHa

    MiroHa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    8,370
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Location:
    A place where cowards live
    [​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?
     
    Asurah, FlyThaiMMA, Summoning and 6 others like this.
  2. sadclown

    sadclown Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    2,367
    He's a legend. But not a Goat.
     
    NaughtyBoy and ixRanGzeNxi like this.
  3. FeloniousMonk

    FeloniousMonk Red Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Messages:
    9,923
    Likes Received:
    9,403
    Location:
    LA
    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

    Bill Laimbeer Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,987
    Likes Received:
    5,340
    He is a legend for sure. Always shows up and still pushes anyone.
     
    ixRanGzeNxi and FedorFanBoy like this.
  5. MMA

    MMA Silver Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,537
    Likes Received:
    4,580
    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

    GIBLERTBAPTISTA very allegorical

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    4,160
    Likes Received:
    7,277
    Location:
    Back from the slums
    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

    loyalyolayal Steel Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    32,181
    Likes Received:
    61,430
    On the cusp but was never there.
     
  8. Mangkone

    Mangkone White Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    France
    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.
     
    MiroHa likes this.
  9. Natesblackshirt

    Natesblackshirt Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Messages:
    5,304
    Likes Received:
    14,390
    Location:
    Stockton, CA
    Lost to everyone good he ever fought except for Thompson. No. Legendary lay and pray game though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  10. HUNTERMANIA

    HUNTERMANIA Always Striving. Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,265
    Likes Received:
    5,663
    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
     
    MCS likes this.
  11. Nightmaree

    Nightmaree Questionmark

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Messages:
    10,696
    Likes Received:
    19,756
    Location:
    The Orchid
  12. Koimpact

    Koimpact Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,338
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    He's a great fighter with a good resume but Aoki and Gomi are still quite ahead of him imo
     
    MCS likes this.
  13. Katsumi Yamada

    Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    16,102
    Likes Received:
    18,756
    Location:
    The sauna
    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

    HerpDerp ambitiously unambitious

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    6,006
    Location:
    Finland
    I look at him and his legacy in a similar light as Mach Sakurai's. A legend, but not the greatest by any stretch.
     
    MiroHa likes this.
  15. ExitLUPin

    ExitLUPin K

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Messages:
    13,274
    Likes Received:
    34,464
    Location:
    Excommunicado
    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
     
    Goodfella86, vᴀᴀʀ. and MiroHa like this.
  16. Katsumi Yamada

    Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    16,102
    Likes Received:
    18,756
    Location:
    The sauna
    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.
     
    Goodfella86 and MiroHa like this.
  17. HughPhug

    HughPhug Plug Tunin'

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    14,009
    Likes Received:
    43,901
    Location:
    The D.A.I.S.Y. Age
    Nailed it

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

    MiroHa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    8,370
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Location:
    A place where cowards live
    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

    MiroHa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    8,370
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Location:
    A place where cowards live
    SMH

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

    SHAZAM Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    4,209
    Likes Received:
    2,058
    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?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.