Japan

Pro Record

"The Gracie Hunter"

26-16-2

Kazushi Sakuraba

"The Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba

Photo Source:   MMAWeekly.com

  • Given Name: 桜庭和志, Sakuraba Kazushi
  • Professional MMA Record: 26-16-2, 1 NC (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Gracie Hunter
  • Current Streak: 4 Losses
  • Age: 45 | 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: 6'0" (183cm) | Reach: N/A
  • Career Disclosed Earnings: $30,000 USD
  • Born: Katagami, Akita, Japan
  • Fighter Pages: Sherdog  |  Wikipedia  |  The UG
  • Fighting out of: Akita, Japan
  • Personal Pages: Facebook  |  Official Site

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.

Last updated 01.02.2013, 12:13 PM ET
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Tapology Consensus Rankings For Kazushi Sakuraba

Kazushi Sakuraba MMA Fight Record

Record by Year and By Promotion

Professional Results Opponent Event Date
Loss | Submission | Choke
2:42 Round 2 of 3, 7:42 Total
Yan Cabral
Ref: Moritaka Oshiro
Dream 17
Main Card | Welterweight | 76 kg
2011.09.24
Odds: +170 Slight Underdog | Weigh-In: 167.11 lbs
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
2:16 Round 1 of 3
Marius Zaromskis
Ref: Moritaka Oshiro
Fields Dynamite!! 2010
Main Card | Title Challenge | Welterweight | 76 kg
2010.12.31
Odds: +190 Slight Underdog | Weigh-In: 167.551 lbs
Loss | Submission | Choke
2:09 Round 1 of 2
Jason Miller
Ref: Moritaka Oshiro
Dream 16
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg
2010.09.25
Odds: +370 Moderate Underdog | Weigh-In: 182.984 lbs
#43 Best MMA Submission of the Year 2010
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Ralek Gracie
Ref: Moritaka Oshiro
Dream 14
Co-Main Event | Catchweight | 87 kg
2010.05.29
Odds: -190 Slight Favorite | Weigh-In: 192.3 lbs
Win | Submission | Leglock
1:40 Round 1 of 3
Zelg Galesic
Ref: Moritaka Oshiro
Dream 12: Cage of the Rising Sun
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg
2009.10.25
Odds: +149 Slight Underdog | Weigh-In: 184.8 lbs
#48 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
Win | Submission | Shoulder
2:53 Round 1 of 2
Rubin Williams
Dream 11: Featherweight & Superhulk GP Finale
Main Card | Middleweight | 84 kg
2009.10.06
Weigh-In: 184.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
2 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Kiyoshi Tamura
Fields Dynamite!! 2008
Main Event | Middleweight
2008.12.31
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs
Loss | KO/TKO | Punches
1:30 Round 1 of 2
Melvin Manhoef
Ref: Yuji Shimada
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
Win | Submission | Head
8:20 Round 1 of 2
Andrews Nakahara
Ref: Yuji Shimada
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
Win | Submission | Shoulder
6:25 Round 1 of 3
Masakatsu Funaki
K-1 : Premium 2007 Dynamite!! 2007.12.31
Win | Submission | Armlock
6:20 Round 1 of 3
Katsuyori Shibata
K-1: HERO'S Tournament Final
Main Card
2007.09.17
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total
Royce Gracie
Ref: Mario Yamasaki
Dynamite!! USA
Main Card | Middleweight
2007.06.02
Disclosed Pay: $30,000 Base | Weigh-In: 187.0 lbs
Win | Submission | Choke
1:26 Round 1 of 2
Yuriy Kiselov
K-1 : HERO'S 8
Main Card
2007.03.12
Draw | Decision
3 Rounds
Yoshihiro Akiyama
Fields Dynamite!! 2006
Main Event | Middleweight
2006.12.31
Odds: +180 Slight Underdog
Win | Submission | Armlock
6:41 Round 1 of 2
Kestutis Smirnovas
K-1 : HERO'S 6
Main Event
2006.08.05
#33 Greatest Comeback of All Time
Win | Submission | Shoulder
9:59 Round 1 of 3
Ikuhisa Minowa
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride Shockwave 2005
Main Card | Welterweight | 83 kg
2005.12.31
Odds: -350 Moderate Favorite | Weigh-In: 190.0 lbs
Win | KO/TKO | Punch
2:27 Round 1 of 3
Ken Shamrock
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride 30: Fully Loaded
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg
2005.10.23
Weigh-In: 190.0 lbs
Loss | KO/TKO | Retired
5:00 Round 2 of 2, 15:00 Total
Ricardo Arona
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride Critical Countdown 2005
Main Card | Tournament Quarterfinal | 93 kg
2005.06.26
Odds: +175 Slight Underdog | Weigh-In: 191.0 lbs
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
0:38 Round 1 of 2
Dong Sik Yoon
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride Total Elimination 2005
Main Card | Tournament Round of 16 | 93 kg
2005.04.23
Weigh-In: 191.0 lbs
Cancelled Bout Wanderlei Silva Pride SW 2004 2004.12.31
Reason: Sakuraba Withdrew
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total
Antonio Schembri
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride Critical Countdown 2004
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg
2004.06.20
Weigh-In: 200.0 lbs
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride Shockwave 2003
Main Event | Light Heavyweight
2003.12.31
Weigh-In: 198.5 lbs
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:36 Round 3 of 3, 17:36 Total
Kevin Randleman
Ref: Daisuke Noguchi
Pride Final Conflict 2003
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg
2003.11.09
Odds: +180 Slight Underdog
#49 Greatest Comeback of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Punch
5:01 Round 1 of 3
Wanderlei Silva
Pride Total Elimination 2003
Main Event | Tournament Quarterfinal | 93 kg
2003.08.10
Odds: +475 Heavy Underdog
#77 Greatest Knockout of All Time
#29 Greatest Light Heavy MMA Fight of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Knees
6:15 Round 1 of 3
Antonio Schembri
Pride 25: Body Blow
Main Card | Middleweight | 93 kg
2003.03.16
Odds: -280 Moderate Favorite Upset Defeat
#51 Biggest Upset of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:08 Round 3 of 3, 17:08 Total
Gilles Arsene
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
Pride Shockwave
Main Event | Heavyweight
2002.08.28
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
10:00 Round 1 of 3
Wanderlei Silva
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 17: Championship Chaos
Main Event | Vacant Title | Middleweight | 93 kg
2001.11.03
Win | Submission | Choke
5:41 Round 1 of 3
Quinton Jackson
Pride 15: Raging Rumble
Main Card | Heavyweight
2001.07.29
#46 Greatest Submission of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Strikes
1:38 Round 1 of 3
Wanderlei Silva
Pride 13: Collision Course
Main Event | Heavyweight
2001.03.25
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds
Ryan Gracie
Pride 12: Cold Fury
Main Event | Heavyweight
2000.12.09
Win | Submission | Leglock
1:08 Round 1 of 3
Shannon Ritch
Pride 11: Battle of the Rising Sun
Main Event | Heavyweight
2000.10.31
Win | Submission | Shoulder
9:43 Round 2 of 3, 19:43 Total
Renzo Gracie
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 10: Return of the Warriors
Main Event | Heavyweight
2000.08.27
Weigh-In: 182.6 lbs
#9 Greatest Submission of All Time
Loss | KO/TKO | Retired
15:00 Round 1 of 1
Igor Vovchanchyn
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
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals
Main Card | Tournament Quarterfinal
2000.05.01
#18 Greatest Fight of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Retired
15:00 Round 1 of 1
Guy Mezger
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
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 8
Main Event | Heavyweight
1999.11.21
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs
#24 Greatest Heavyweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Submission | Armlock
2:30 Round 2 of 3, 12:30 Total
Anthony Macias
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 7
Main Card | Heavyweight
1999.09.12
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs
Win | Submission | Armlock
9:23 Round 1 of 3
Ebenezer Fontes Braga
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 6
Main Card | Heavyweight
1999.07.04
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 20:00 Total
Vitor Belfort
Pride 5
Main Card | Heavyweight
1999.04.29
Draw | Decision
3 Rounds, 25:00 Total
Allan Goes
Ref: Yuji Shimada
Pride 4
Main Card | Heavyweight
1998.10.11
Weigh-In: 183.0 lbs
Win | Submission | Leglock
5:19 Round 2 of 3, 15:19 Total
Carlos Newton
Pride 3
Main Card | Heavyweight
1998.06.24
#53 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
Pride 2
Main Card | Heavyweight
1998.03.15
Win | Submission | Armlock
3:44 Round 1 of 1
Marcus Silveira
Ref: John McCarthy
UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan
Co-Main Event | Tournament Finals
1997.12.21
Weigh-In: 203.0 lbs
#99 Greatest Submission of All Time
No Contest | Submission | Armlock
3:44 Round 1 of 1
Marcus Silveira
Ref: John McCarthy
UFC 15.5: Ultimate Japan
Main Card | Tournament Semifinal
1997.12.21
Weigh-In: 203.0 lbs
Loss | Submission | Choke Kimo Leopoldo Shoot Boxing 1996.07.14

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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.

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