Maybe you were a fan of the sport back then, or maybe you weren’t. Either way, back when PRIDE FC was a thing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was almost a guarantee of success in MMA fights, there was a Japanese fighter with an almost supernatural knack for tying the best grapplers into knots.
I’m talking about Kazushi Sakuraba, who was in the Octagon for a hot minute, but wound up fighting in PRIDE a ton, where he achieved legendary status for his spectacular wins.
(Fun fact: Sakuraba was deathly afraid of flying, so fighting in the States was kind of a non-starter for him.)
The UFC announced that they’re inducting Sakuraba into the UFC Hall of Fame, and when it comes to being someone who helped shape the sport, I can’t think of a more worthy candidate.
Here’s the official highlight reel.