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.