Kazushi Sakuraba earned his spot in the annals of MMA history by being the hero Japan needed and deserved, taking out Gracie family members left and right with the kind of grappling chops that made formidable jiu-jitsu skills look about as worthless as aikido.
Then he grew old, and took beating after beating at the hands of Wanderlei Silva, Mirko CroCop and Melvin Manhoef, and he was forever more a shell of his former self in the ring.
It was at that point the beloved “Sak” should’ve ridden off into the sunset. But he didn’t – he returned to fight at the new RIZIN show in December, where he was utterly handled and brutalized by an undersized Shinya Aoki.
And as per RIZIN promoter Nobu Sakakibara’s Instagram, Sak will be coming back for even more punishment.
It is clear at this point that Sakuraba won’t stop until he’s dead, and that’s tragic. He did a lot for the sport, and old schoolers one and all will tell you tales of his accomplishments that are only made greater because they’re all true.
He deserves better.
何度でも、何度でも、何度でも立ち上がる！そんなサクの生き様に私も勇気と元気をもらってきました。この男まだまだ懲りて無いですよ！次戦が楽しみです。 #rizinff This man has continued to inspire me throughout his career no matter how many times he falls, he always rises. It seems like he has not had enough! We’ll see what he has to offer in his next fight! #rizinff #mmajp #mma Вновь и вновь он встаёт и поднимается! Своей энергией Сакураба даже меня мотивирует. Этот боец ещё не сдался! Мы его ещё увидим. #сакураба #мма