Main Event | Heavyweight | Pro MMA
Kazushi Sakuraba defeats Royler Gracie via Submission at 13:16 of Round 2
Kazushi Sakuraba Royler Gracie
"The Gracie Hunter"
|6-1-1||Pro Record At Fight||3-0-0|
|Climbed to 7-1-1||Record After Fight||Fell to 3-1|
|Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan||Fighting out of||Rio De Janeiro, Brazil|
|30 years, 4 months, 1 week||Age at Fight||33 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, 1 day|
|183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs)||Weigh-In Result||150.0 lbs (68.0 kgs)|
|5'11" (180cm)||Height||5'8" (173cm)|
- Bout Information
- Event: Pride 8
- Date: Sunday 11.21.1999
- Referee: Yuji Shimada
- Venue: Ariake Coliseum
- Enclosure: Ring
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Bout Billing: Main Event (fight 8 of 8)
- Pro/Am: Professional
- TV Commentary: Stephen Quadros, Bas Rutten
- Post-Fight Interviewer:
- Sakuraba Total Disclosed Pay: None Disclosed
- Gracie Total Disclosed Pay: None Disclosed
Sakuraba vs. Gracie Wiki
Heading into his Pride 8 bout against Royler Gracie, Kazushi Sakuraba had established a solid professional record of 6-1-1. Gracie was undefeated at 3-0 and was one of the now-famous members of the legendary Gracie clan. After a one-sided contest, Sakuraba claimed his first Gracie scalp by defeating Royler 13:26 into the second round. Following the victory, Sakuraba would develop a competitive rivalry with the Gracie family, and was eventually anointed as “The Gracie Hunter” after defeating four of them.
“I promise I will give my heart and my blood to do this,” Gracie said in the pre-fight package. Royler’s brother, Rickson Gracie, said about the fight, “Mr. Sakuraba is a great fighter, but I believe Royler will win.”
Throughout the first round, Gracie repeatedly attempted to goad Sakuraba into falling into his guard, as he scooted toward him for several minutes throughout the round. Sakuraba did not take the bate, scoring multiple kicks to Gracie’s legs and body and fending off submission attempts from the smaller fighter with ease when the match did hit the ground. Fight announcers Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros called the action. Quadros: “What can Gracie do in this situation?” Rutten: “Nothing. He can’t do anything.”
Although the second round was contested more on the feet than on the matt, the story was the same, as Sakuraba continued to batter Gracie’s legs with kicks before committing to a ground assault. After attempting to get Sakuraba to the canvas for most of the bout, it turned out it was Sakuraba who finished Gracie on the ground, with a technical submission due to a Kimura lock. Gracie did not tap from the hold, but he was unable to improve his position or to intelligently defend himself, prompting the referee to call a halt to the contest at the 13:16 mark.
While Gracie would not put together a solid winning streak for the remainder of his fighting career, the win propelled Sakuraba to new heights of superstardom in Japan. Just one year later during the 2000 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, Sakuraba notched an even more impressive win by finishing then-undefeated UFC champion Royce Gracie when Gracie’s corner threw in the towel after six 15-minute rounds.