Japan

Pro Record

"The Gracie Hunter"

26-16-2

Kazushi Sakuraba

"The Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba

Photo Source:  

Mma weekly
  • Given Name: 桜庭和志, Sakuraba Kazushi
  • MMA Record: 26-16-2, 1 NC (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Gracie Hunter
  • Current Streak: 4 Losses
  • Age: 46 | Date of Birth: 1969.07.14
  • Last Fight: September 24, 2011 in DREAM
  • Weight Class: Welterweight | Last Weigh-In: 167.1 lbs
  • Affiliation: Laughter7
  • Height: 5'11" (180cm) | Reach: N/A
  • Career Disclosed Earnings: $30,000 USD
  • Born: Showa, Minamiakita, Akita, Japan
  • Fighter Pages: Sherdog  |  Wikipedia  |  The UG  |  Promoter
  • Fighting out of: Akita, Japan
  • Personal Pages: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Official Site
  • College: N/A
  • Foundation Style: Wrestling

Tapology Regional Rankings Rankings FAQ

Kazushi Sakuraba is ineligible for regional rankings due to inactivity.
Fighters must have at least one completed bout in the past two years to be ranked.

Gyms & Affiliations

Kazushi Sakuraba Wiki Update Wiki

Known as the legendary “Gracie Hunter,” Japan’s Kazushi Sakuraba was one of Pride Fighting Championships’ all-time greatest mixed martial arts fighters, and came to epitomize Japanese martial artists’ warrior ethos and “never say die” fighting mentality. At his peak in and around 2000 many regarded him as the world’s best fighter. In recent years, the damage accumulated in dozens of classic MMA wars has slowed and at times hobbled Sakuraba, but he remains among MMA’s most beloved figures, an ambassador and elder statesman of the game and an embodiment of the fighter who fights for the love of competition. Sakuraba is MMA royalty.


Kazushi Sakuraba’s MMA career spans more than two decades, with a fight resume dotted with many of the most fearsome individuals ever to step into a ring or cage. He has defeated many of MMA’s best, including Carlos Newton, Vitor Belfort, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Kevin Randleman, but it was his quartet of classic victories over Royler Gracie, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie and Ryan Gracie in 1999 and 2000 that established him as the “Gracie Hunter” and made him the newfound figurehead for the fledgling Pride organization. The site of Sakuraba, adorned in the colorful masks and guises of various Japanese anime, superhero and video game characters, thronged by cheering fans, marching down the ramparts into the Pride ring to do battle yet again, remains one of MMA’s most iconic sights.


Some of Sakuraba’s defeats are as memorable as his greatest victories, based on his refusal to give in and, in some instances, the horrible beatings he endured as a result. Losses to Ricardo Arona in 2005 (where he sustained so much damage that he was observed being carried out of Saitama Super Arena on a stretcher) and Melvin Manhoef in 2008 were particularly gruesome, and it was his trio of violent losses to the ferocious Brazilian Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva beginning in 2001 that signalled a changing of the guard in MMA, as a new class of size, strength and athleticism emerged among its elite combatants.


Sakuraba was born in Katagami, Akita, Japan in 1969 and still lives, trains and fights professionally out of Japan.


Kazushi Sakuraba came to America for only the second time in his career,  to compete at Metamoris V.  a invitation only, submission only, 1 round, 20 minute event. He and Renzo Gracie fought to a draw on Nov.22 2014

Last updated 11.27.2014, 12:43 PM ET
Wiki Contributors:

Kazushi Sakuraba MMA Fight Record

Record by Year and By Promotion

Pro Results Opponent Event Date
Loss | Submission | Choke
2:42 Round 2 of 3, 7:42 Total

Yan Cabral
26-15-2 9-0-0

Dream 17
Main Card | Welterweight | 76 kg

2011.09.24
Odds: +170 (Slight Underdog) | Weigh-In: 167.1 lbs (75.8 kgs) | Referee: Moritaka Oshiro
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
2:16 Round 1 of 3

Marius Zaromskis
26-14-2 13-5-0

Fields Dynamite!! 2010
Main Card | Title Challenge | Welterweight | 76 kg

2010.12.31
Odds: +190 (Slight Underdog) | Weigh-In: 167.6 lbs (76.0 kgs) | Referee: Moritaka Oshiro
Loss | Submission | Choke
2:09 Round 1 of 2

Jason Miller
26-13-2 23-7-0

Dream 16
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg

2010.09.25
Odds: +370 (Moderate Underdog) | Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs) | Referee: Moritaka Oshiro
#43 Best MMA Submission of the Year 2010
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Ralek Gracie
26-12-2 2-0-0

Dream 14
Co-Main Event | Catchweight | 87 kg

2010.05.29
Odds: -190 (Slight Favorite) | Weigh-In: 192.3 lbs (87.2 kgs) | Referee: Moritaka Oshiro
Win | Submission | Leglock
1:40 Round 1 of 3

Zelg Galešić
25-12-2 9-4-0

Dream 12: Cage of the Rising Sun
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg

2009.10.25
Odds: +149 (Slight Underdog) | Weigh-In: 184.8 lbs (83.8 kgs) | Referee: Moritaka Oshiro
Win | Submission | Shoulder
2:53 Round 1 of 2

Rubin Williams
24-12-2 0-0-0

Dream 11: Featherweight & Superhulk GP Finale
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg

2009.10.06
Weigh-In: 184.0 lbs (83.5 kgs)
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
2 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Kiyoshi Tamura
24-11-2 31-13-3

Fields Dynamite!! 2008
Main Event | Middleweight

2008.12.31
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs)
Loss | KO/TKO | Punches
1:30 Round 1 of 2

Melvin Manhoef
24-10-2 21-4-1

Dream 4: Middleweight GP 2008 Second Round
Main Event | Tournament Quarterfinal | 84 kg

2008.06.18
Odds: +101 (Near Even) | Weigh-In: 183.9 lbs (83.4 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Submission | Head
8:20 Round 1 of 2

Andrews Nakahara
23-10-2 0-0-0

Dream 2: Middleweight GP 2008 First Round
Main Event | Tournament Round of 16 | 84 kg

2008.04.29
Odds: -700 (Huge Favorite) | Weigh-In: 184.3 lbs (83.6 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Submission | Shoulder
6:25 Round 1 of 3

Masakatsu Funaki
22-10-2 39-11-1

K-1

2007.12.31
Win | Submission | Armlock
6:20 Round 1 of 3

Katsuyori Shibata
21-10-2 2-1-0

K-1: HERO'S Tournament Final
Main Card

2007.09.17
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Royce Gracie
21-9-2 13-2-3

Dynamite!! USA
Main Card | Middleweight

2007.06.02
Disclosed Pay: $30,000 Base | Weigh-In: 187.0 lbs (84.8 kgs) | Referee: Mario Yamasaki
Win | Submission | Choke
1:26 Round 1 of 2

Yuriy Kiselov
20-9-2 2-2-0

K-1 : HERO'S 8
Main Card

2007.03.12
Draw | Decision
3 Rounds

Yoshihiro Akiyama
20-9-1 9-1-0

Fields Dynamite!! 2006
Main Event | Middleweight

2006.12.31
Odds: +180 (Slight Underdog)
Win | Submission | Armlock
6:41 Round 1 of 2

Kestutis Smirnovas
19-9-1 18-5-0

K-1 : HERO'S 6
Main Event

2006.08.05
#37 Greatest Comeback of All Time
Win | Submission | Shoulder
9:59 Round 1 of 3

Ikuhisa Minowa
18-9-1 31-22-8

Pride Shockwave 2005
Main Card | Welterweight | 83 kg

2005.12.31
Odds: -350 (Moderate Favorite) | Weigh-In: 190.0 lbs (86.2 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
#88 Greatest Submission of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Punch
2:27 Round 1 of 3

Ken Shamrock
17-9-1 26-9-2

Pride 30: Fully Loaded
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg

2005.10.23
Weigh-In: 190.0 lbs (86.2 kgs) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Loss | KO/TKO | Retired
5:00 Round 2 of 2, 15:00 Total

Ricardo Arona
17-8-1 10-2-0

Pride Critical Countdown 2005
Main Card | Tournament Quarterfinal | 93 kg

2005.06.26
Odds: +175 (Slight Underdog) | Weigh-In: 191.0 lbs (86.6 kgs) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
0:38 Round 1 of 2

Dong Sik Yoon
16-8-1 0-0-0

Pride Total Elimination 2005
Main Card | Tournament Round of 16 | 93 kg

2005.04.23
Weigh-In: 191.0 lbs (86.6 kgs) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Cancelled Bout Wanderlei Silva Pride SW 2004 2004.12.31
Reason: Sakuraba Withdrew
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total

Antonio Schembri
15-8-1 3-1-0

Pride Critical Countdown 2004
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg

2004.06.20
Weigh-In: 200.0 lbs (90.7 kgs) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total

Antônio Rogério Nogueira
15-7-1 6-1-0

Pride Shockwave 2003
Main Event | Light Heavyweight

2003.12.31
Weigh-In: 198.5 lbs (90.0 kgs) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:36 Round 3 of 3, 17:36 Total

Kevin Randleman
14-7-1 14-6-0

Pride Final Conflict 2003
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg

2003.11.09
Odds: +180 (Slight Underdog) | Referee: Daisuke Noguchi
Loss | KO/TKO | Punch
5:01 Round 1 of 3

Wanderlei Silva
14-6-1 21-3-1

Pride Total Elimination 2003
Main Event | Tournament Quarterfinal | 93 kg

2003.08.10
Odds: +475 (Heavy Underdog)
#78 Greatest Knockout of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Knees
6:15 Round 1 of 3

Antonio Schembri
14-5-1 2-0-0

Pride 25: Body Blow
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg

2003.03.16
Odds: -280 (Moderate Favorite) Upset Defeat
#56 Biggest Upset of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:08 Round 3 of 3, 17:08 Total

Gilles Arsene
13-5-1 1-0-0

Pride 23: Championship Chaos 2
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg

2002.11.24
Odds: -575 (Heavy Favorite)
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
5:00 Round 2 of 3, 15:00 Total

Mirko Filipovic
13-4-1 2-0-2

Pride Shockwave
Main Event | Heavyweight

2002.08.28
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
10:00 Round 1 of 3

Wanderlei Silva
13-3-1 16-3-0

Pride 17: Championship Chaos
Main Event | Vacant Title | Middleweight | 93 kg

2001.11.03
Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Submission | Choke
5:41 Round 1 of 3

Quinton Jackson
12-3-1 10-1-0

Pride 15: Raging Rumble
Main Card | Heavyweight

2001.07.29
#57 Greatest Submission of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Strikes
1:38 Round 1 of 3

Wanderlei Silva
12-2-1 14-3-0

Pride 13: Collision Course
Main Event | Heavyweight

2001.03.25
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds

Ryan Gracie
11-2-1 1-0-0

Pride 12: Cold Fury
Main Event | Heavyweight

2000.12.09
Win | Submission | Leglock
1:08 Round 1 of 3

Shannon Ritch
10-2-1 13-17-0

Pride 11: Battle of the Rising Sun
Main Event | Heavyweight

2000.10.31
#97 Greatest Submission of All Time
Win | Submission | Shoulder
9:43 Round 2 of 3, 19:43 Total

Renzo Gracie
9-2-1 9-1-1

Pride 10: Return of the Warriors
Main Event | Heavyweight

2000.08.27
Weigh-In: 182.6 lbs (82.8 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
#8 Greatest Submission of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Retired
15:00 Round 1 of 1

Igor Vovchanchyn
8-1-1 37-2-1

Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals
Main Card | Tournament Semifinal

2000.05.01
Win | KO/TKO | Retired
15:00 Round 6, 90:00 Total

Royce Gracie
8-1-1 12-0-1

Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals
Main Card | Tournament Quarterfinal

2000.05.01
Referee: Yuji Shimada
#21 Greatest Fight of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Retired
15:00 Round 1 of 1

Guy Mezger
7-1-1 22-9-2

Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round
Main Card | Tournament Round of 16

2000.01.30
Win | Submission | Shoulder
13:16 Round 2/3, 23:16 Total

Royler Gracie
6-1-1 3-0-0

Pride 8
Main Event | Heavyweight

1999.11.21
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
#24 Greatest Heavyweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:30 Round 2 of 3, 12:30 Total

Anthony Macias
5-1-1 15-5-0

Pride 7
Main Card | Heavyweight

1999.09.12
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Submission | Armlock
9:23 Round 1 of 3

Ebenezer Fontes Braga
4-1-1 10-3-1

Pride 6
Main Card | Heavyweight

1999.07.04
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total

Vitor Belfort
3-1-1 6-1-0

Pride 5
Main Card | Heavyweight

1999.04.29
Draw | Decision
3 Rounds, 25:00 Total

Allan Goes
3-1-0 3-1-1

Pride 4
Main Card | Heavyweight

1998.10.11
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs) | Referee: Yuji Shimada
Win | Submission | Leglock
5:19 Round 2 of 3, 15:19 Total

Carlos Newton
2-1-0 4-2-0

Pride 3
Main Card | Heavyweight

1998.06.24
#48 Greatest Fight of All Time
#38 Greatest Submission of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
6:53 Round 3 of 3, 21:53 Total

Vernon White
1-1-0 11-20-1

Pride 2
Main Card | Heavyweight

1998.03.15
#89 Greatest Submission of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
3:44 Round 1 of 1

Marcus Silveira
0-1-0 3-1-0

UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan
Co-Main Event | Tournament Finals

1997.12.21
Weigh-In: 203.0 lbs (92.1 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
#78 Greatest Submission of All Time
No Contest | Armlock
1:51 Round 1 of 1

Marcus Silveira
0-1-0 3-1-0

UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan
Main Card | Tournament Semifinal

1997.12.21
Weigh-In: 203.0 lbs (92.1 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
Loss | Submission | Choke

Kimo Leopoldo

Japan Regional

1996.07.14

Kazushi Sakuraba News View All

On mixed martial arts’ Mount Rushmore, Kazushi Sakuraba beautiful war torn mug deserves i... (11 days ago)
Frankie Edgar isn't waiting around. The former UFC lightweight champion missed out on st... (13 days ago)
Three of the biggest stars of the early days of mixed martial arts will be part of the pr... (14 days ago)
Three of the biggest stars of the early days of mixed martial arts will be part of the pr... (14 days ago)
Mestre de grandes nomes do UFC como Renan Barão e Cláudia Gadelha, o líder da equipe Kimu... (2 months ago)
Em 1914, Carlos Gracie conheceu o imigrante japonês Mitsuyo Maeda, que viria a ser conhec... (2 months ago)

Videos & Highlights

    Highlight  |  "The Gracie Hunter" Sakuraba HL report dead link

    A highlight video of Kazushi Sakuraba's battles with the Gracie family.

  • Highlight  |  Kazushi Sakuraba Highlight by Robbie Park report dead link

    Legendary MMA highlight video maker Robbie Park looks at "The Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba.

  • Highlight  |  "Superman - A Tribute To Kazushi Sakuraba" Highlight Video report dead link

    A highlight video paying tribute to the legendary Kazushi Sakuraba.

  • Highlight  |  "Kazushi Sakuraba 2.0 - A Legend Among Legends" HL Vid by Robbie Park report dead link

    Robbie Park returns to follow up on his original classic highlight video of Kazushi Sakuraba in this Sakuraba 2.0 video.

  • MMA Weekly : ‘Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson Takes on Tecia Torres at UFC 194
  • MMA Weekly : TUF 22 Team McGregor vs. Team Faber Cast Revealed
  • MMAFighting.com : Demetrious Johnson UFC 191 Los Angeles lunch scrum
  • MMA Junkie : Chris Leben sentenced to 120 days, reports to jail Sept. 21
  • MMAFighting.com : Paige VanZant UFC 191 Los Angeles lunch scrum
  • MMAFighting.com : The Ultimate Fighter 22 cast released, will feature fighters from 11 different countries
  • MMA Junkie : Scott Coker: Melvin Guillard may undergo surgery today or tomorrow
  • MMA Weekly : Paige VanZant UF 191 Quick Hit Video: When Title Shot Comes, I’ll Be Ready
  • MMAFighting.com : Demetrious Johnson compares 'mental midget' John Dodson to 'a little chihuahua'
  • Middle Easy : Vitor Belfort body update: The Phenom is grilling steaks, living the shirtless dad life
  • MMA Junkie : Justin Wren hopes successful MMA return brings more aid, attention to Congo
  • MMA Junkie : With Rousey vs. Holm coming sooner than expected, there's good news and bad news
  • MMAFighting.com : Michelle Waterson vs. Tecia Torres added to UFC 194
  • MMA Weekly : Brandon Halsey Puts Middleweight Title Up Against Rafael Carvalho at Bellator 144
  • MMA Junkie : Michelle Waterson vs. Tecia Torres slated for UFC 194 in Las Vegas
  • MMAFighting.com : Bellator 144 gets second title fight with Brandon Halsey vs. Rafael Carvalho
  • MMA Weekly : New Ink Alert: Conor McGregor Goes Full-on Notorious
  • MMA Junkie : Shoulder surgery forthcoming for ex-UFC champ 'Shogun' Rua
  • MMAFighting.com : UFC interim champ Conor McGregor gets new tattoos on torso
  • MMA Weekly : Andrei Arlovski Faces a More Dangerous Frank Mir at UFC 191 Than He Would Have a Decade Ago