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Sakuraba jumps from PRIDE to HERO’s

By Zach Arnold | May 3, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

A few hours ago, rumors were flying about an “explosive surprise” that K-1 boss Sadaharu Tanigawa promised to have at the Yoyogi show. The first word of this came in a Tarzan Yamamoto column.

The rumors are substantiated now, and that Kazushi Sakuraba (who, over the weekend, left the DSE-ran Takada Dojo) has joined up with K-1/HERO’s for their 85 kg tournament, which starts on 8/5 in Tokyo. Sherdog reaction. MMAFighting reaction.

More news regarding this jump and some of the potential motives behind it will be discussed in a special radio show that will posted later on the web site. The “y” word will likely be mentioned.

Results from today’s HERO’s show in Tokyo at Yoyogi National Stadium Gym I:

  1. Kazuhiro Hamanaka defeated WAKASHOYO when the towel was thrown in.
  2. Antonio Silva defeated Tom Erikson in R1 in 2 minutes, 49 seconds by TKO from referee stoppage.
  3. Don Frye defeated Akebono in R2 in 3 minutes, 50 seconds with a front choke.
  4. Middleweight Tournament: Ivan Menjivar defeated Taiyo Nakahara after 2R by a 3-0 judges’ decision.
  5. Middleweight Tournament: Rani Yahya defeated Ryuki Ueyama after 2R by a 2-0 judges’ decision.
  6. Middleweight Tournament: J.Z. Calvan (that’s the ring name the Japanese are using for J.Z. Calvacante of ATT fame) defeated Hidetaka Monma in R1 in 2 minutes, 8 seconds by TKO from referee stoppage.
  7. Middleweight Tournament: Black Mamba defeated Hideo Tokoro by KO.
  8. Akira Maeda introduced a special guest, a mysterious maskman in a Tiger Mask appeared…
  9. Middleweight Tournament: Kaoru Uno defeated Ole Laursen in R2 in 4 minutes, 36 seconds with a choke sleeper.
  10. Yoshihiro Akiyama defeated Katsuhiko Nagata in R2 in 2 minutes, 25 seconds by KO.
  11. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto defeated Kazuyuki Miyata in R1 in 4 seconds with a left knee strike.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, K-1, MMA, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 2 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

2 Responses to “Sakuraba jumps from PRIDE to HERO’s”

  1. I think this is a very good move for Kazushi Sakuraba as far as getting away from the infamous scandal as of late is concerned. The Takada Dojo is just a typical gym ran by DSE, it isn’t even operated by Nobuhiko Takada, so there is no loveless there. I’m sure he will be used better this time around by K-1 in terms of booking and match-making. We all know there is heat between Sakuraba and PRIDE boss Sakakibara. Although there are lot of positives to come from the transfer, many other factors will need to be thought about. Is it possible for K-1 HEROS to compete with the quality of the fights in PRIDE?
    Japan is more or less an image-conscious society – moreso than they let on, and DSE is facing the perfect storm. Their every move is being monitored by the authorities thanks to the yakuza scandal of late, and money will become a problem if things remain the same. Now is the perfect time for K-1 to capitalise on DSE’s problems, and right now they’re going in for the kill. They’re taking no chances. All these factors provide major trouble for DSE’s long-term health. For now they should forget to expand the product into other countries, they’re losing the war now in their own backyard. Expect an all-out turf war in the very near future.

  2. […] The big news from the event was K1’s signing of Pride superstar Kazushi Sakuraba. Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion continues his splendid coverage of the Japanese MMA scene with a report about Sak’s defection to K1 here. […]


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