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UnderGround Forums >> Wrestlers should fight like Sakuraba did


12/6/10 9:09 AM
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whoabro
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I'm not a wrestler-hater by any means (in fact, I usually root for the wrestling-based fighter), but I do think they could do themselves a favor by looking at Saku as a blueprint for how wrestlers should fight in MMA.

What made him so dangerous was his excellent wrestling, coupled with his very, very tricky submission game. He combined freestyle/folkstyle wrestling and submissions like nobody since that I can think of, threatening opponents from pretty much any position, and was both very successful AND exciting.

Granted, not everybody has the natural aptitude for submissions that Saku did, but I don't even see many wrestlers attempting submissions. When I see any of the lighter-weight, super-slippery scramblers like Edgar, Griffon, Faber, Benevidez, etc, all I can think of is how terrifying they would be if they constantly threatened the sub like Saku did. It would also go a long way towards addressing the complaints that they're boring (which I personally don't agree with).

Thoughts?
12/6/10 9:12 AM
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asbury
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when god made saku, he broke the mold.

sure the era he fought in factors in to his success somewhat.

but i dont think theyll ever be another like him.
12/6/10 9:22 AM
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Fake Rassler
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OP is absolutely correct. People like Mike Coughlin say absolutely ridiculous shit like "Sakuraba is the greatest fighter of all time and may never be equalled" when in reality it's just that he had good wrestling and submissions with the ability to blend both together from being raised in the UWFi/shoot style. He literally was doing the shoot equivalent of a Tamura/Takada-style worked match.

On one of the early KOTC events (3?) Eddie Bravo talks about how dangerous wrestlers will be "once they learn the art of passing the guard," but Sakuraba was already doing that long before then - it's just that people neglected to talk about his amateur background, didn't understand the Japanese shoot style and didn't recognize cartwheels or flying punches as 'guard passes' as much at the time.
12/6/10 9:28 AM
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Fake Rassler
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Edited: 12/06/10 9:28 AM
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ElChupacabra1982 - Sakuraba is quite possibly the most creative fighter in the history of MMA.


"Creative" may not be the right word for it IMO. People who have met Sakuraba will probably back me up on the fact that in person he really seems like a slightly retarded cartoon character or something, like the "fat guy who compulsively eats those Japanese buns" trope from various anime productions.

The stuff that he does in the ring is all just taken from elsewhere, usually pro-wrestling (mongolian chop, sobatto, etc.) and TV shows (RIDER KICK~!). Being in pro-wrestling and spending over a decade screwing around inside a ring made him comfortable enough to try new things in that context, but he didn't necessarily make them up per se.

Ivey tried a people's elbow in an MMA fight but I wouldn't describe it as creative of him to do so.
12/6/10 9:45 AM
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Blackbeltpanda
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 Faber actually has some good submissions.
12/6/10 12:32 PM
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whoabro
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asbury - when god made saku, he broke the mold.

sure the era he fought in factors in to his success somewhat.

but i dont think theyll ever be another like him.

Sadly, I think this might be correct-- although I'm also guessing that a lot of the newer fighters might not know who he is, or at least may not have seen enough of his fights to see the possibilities
12/6/10 1:10 PM
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scuffler
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Edited: 12/06/10 1:10 PM
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Main difference was not his pro wrestling background but his very real catch wrestling background, especially his time with Coach Billy Robinson.
12/6/10 1:30 PM
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BJJkilla
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benavidez threatens with his guillotine a lot in his fights, so does faber.
12/6/10 1:48 PM
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MMA Monkey
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ElChupacabra1982 - Sakuraba is quite possibly the most creative fighter in the history of MMA.


"Creative" may not be the right word for it IMO. People who have met Sakuraba will probably back me up on the fact that in person he really seems like a slightly retarded cartoon character or something, like the "fat guy who compulsively eats those Japanese buns" trope from various anime productions.

The stuff that he does in the ring is all just taken from elsewhere, usually pro-wrestling (mongolian chop, sobatto, etc.) and TV shows (RIDER KICK~!). Being in pro-wrestling and spending over a decade screwing around inside a ring made him comfortable enough to try new things in that context, but he didn't necessarily <i>make them up</i> per se.

Ivey tried a people's elbow in an MMA fight but I wouldn't describe it as <i>creative</i> of him to do so.


Chill the fuck out. He said "creative" not "inventive" so chill dawg. You chill yet? Okay cool.
12/6/10 2:23 PM
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Jitsbaby
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Scoring system has a lot to with it too.
The Pride scoring system would reward fighters for sub attempts even if they failed. In modern/American MMA you pretty much have to finish with the sub to be rewarded for going for it, so wrestlers and many BJJ guys dont want to risk it anymore...
12/6/10 2:39 PM
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Fake Rassler
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MMA Monkey - 
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ElChupacabra1982 - Sakuraba is quite possibly the most creative fighter in the history of MMA.


"Creative" may not be the right word for it IMO. People who have met Sakuraba will probably back me up on the fact that in person he really seems like a slightly retarded cartoon character or something, like the "fat guy who compulsively eats those Japanese buns" trope from various anime productions.

The stuff that he does in the ring is all just taken from elsewhere, usually pro-wrestling (mongolian chop, sobatto, etc.) and TV shows (RIDER KICK~!). Being in pro-wrestling and spending over a decade screwing around inside a ring made him comfortable enough to try new things in that context, but he didn't necessarily make them up per se.

Ivey tried a people's elbow in an MMA fight but I wouldn't describe it as creative of him to do so.


Chill the fuck out. He said "creative" not "inventive" so chill dawg. You chill yet? Okay cool.


lol
12/6/10 2:40 PM
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sside maurice
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Edited: 12/06/10 2:40 PM
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Lots of lighter-weight wrestlers use chokes very effectively, especially WEC guys like Faber, Benevidez, Henderson, Roller, etc.
12/6/10 2:40 PM
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Billyz
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The whole game would change with yellow cards for lay and pray. you would see a whole lot more subs happening
12/6/10 2:41 PM
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Steve4192
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scuffler - Main difference was not his pro wrestling background but his very real catch wrestling background, especially his time with Coach Billy Robinson.


^ this

Sakuraba was an incredibly skilled catch wrestler in addition to being a gifted amateur wrestler. Very few guys have the same kind of skill set that he had. Most wrestlers choose to supplement their wrestling with a conservative position-oriented BJJ base rather than a aggressive scramble-oriented catch base. It's hard to fight like Sakuraba when you don't have the skills to do so.

I think Ben Askren has some Sakuraba-like qualities (he sacrifices position all the time because of his faith in his scrambling), but he just lacks the skills to put it all together like Sakuraba did.
12/6/10 4:54 PM
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hubris
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they don't fight like that because wrestlers think they are boxers now
12/6/10 5:00 PM
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Fake Rassler
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Edited: 12/06/10 5:02 PM
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Steve4192 - 
scuffler - Main difference was not his pro wrestling background but his very real catch wrestling background, especially his time with Coach Billy Robinson.


^ this

Sakuraba was an incredibly skilled catch wrestler in addition to being a gifted amateur wrestler. Very few guys have the same kind of skill set that he had. Most wrestlers choose to supplement their wrestling with a conservative position-oriented BJJ base rather than a aggressive scramble-oriented catch base. It's hard to fight like Sakuraba when you don't have the skills to do so.


The above is totally wrong. To say that catch is "scramble based" would get you literally crippled by some people, lol. UWF/shoot style wrestling is "scramble based" because A)scrambles are more exciting, and B)it's easier to fake strikes etc. in a scramble where you can spam palm strikes and 40% kicks.

To say that Sakuraba fights like a catch stylists is just totally, utterly wrong and the sort of falsehood that springs up when people repeat scraps of information they've read here and there on forums amongst all the other line noise.

Saku has spent some time with Billy Robinson, but he also spent time at BHJJC and other places training jiu-jitsu. Does that make him a BJJer?

Again, I don't think anyone who can legitimately recognize real CACC style wrestling would say that Sakuraba actually fights (fought) that way. He does freestyle wrestling with mostly second generation Gotch/UWF subs thrown in there.

Guys like Robinson and Gotch were there to teach people holds they could use in worked matches. They didn't try to help the UWF guys develop into well-rounded competitive grapplers.
I think Ben Askren has some Sakuraba-like qualities (he sacrifices position all the time because of his faith in his scrambling), but he just lacks the skills to put it all together like Sakuraba did.


LOFL@Ben Askren lacking skills compared to Sakuraba. That actually makes me want to puke reading it because I don't think I'll be able to wipe away your incorrect knowledge base and fully replace it with the truth based on the limits of internet forums and language as a medium for communicating ideas. :(

Sakuraba had thousands of hours of time screwing around with strikes, takedowns and submissions in the same sort of ring he would end up fighting in for real. Relative to him Askren is an absolute beginner at sports which allow striking and submissions and you can't compare Saku's best years to Ben's rookie season fairly.
12/6/10 5:07 PM
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Lord Kancho
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Edited: 12/06/10 5:09 PM
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Japan has some of very exciting wrestlers. Rumina Sato, Sak, Kid Yamamoto. I'm excited to see more of Ishii, though I heard he was going back to Judo.
12/6/10 5:11 PM
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TopChute
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I've been saying this for years, if you are great a getting position, you should not be afraid to lose position and try more chokes and cranks.

Imagine how much more lethal GSP would be if he wasn't afraid to lose top position.

Thank god for Phil Davis.
12/6/10 5:42 PM
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Fake Rassler
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KyokushinCatch - 
Steve4192 - 
scuffler - Main difference was not his pro wrestling background but his very real catch wrestling background, especially his time with Coach Billy Robinson.


^ this

Sakuraba was an incredibly skilled catch wrestler in addition to being a gifted amateur wrestler. Very few guys have the same kind of skill set that he had. Most wrestlers choose to supplement their wrestling with a conservative position-oriented BJJ base rather than a aggressive scramble-oriented catch base. It's hard to fight like Sakuraba when you don't have the skills to do so.

I think Ben Askren has some Sakuraba-like qualities (he sacrifices position all the time because of his faith in his scrambling), but he just lacks the skills to put it all together like Sakuraba did.

yup


Catch is not "scramble based"
12/6/10 5:44 PM
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GriffinQ
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ElChupacabra1982 - Sakuraba is quite possibly the most creative fighter in the history of MMA.

 There's a couple other guys who are pretty creative...Urijah Faber, Genki Sudo, Anderson Silva at times
12/6/10 8:24 PM
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whoabro
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TopChute - I've been saying this for years, if you are great a getting position, you should not be afraid to lose position and try more chokes and cranks.

Imagine how much more lethal GSP would be if he wasn't afraid to lose top position.

Thank god for Phil Davis.

this exactly
12/6/10 8:33 PM
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GladiatorGannon
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ElChupacabra1982 - Sakuraba is quite possibly the most creative fighter in the history of MMA.


"Creative" may not be the right word for it IMO. People who have met Sakuraba will probably back me up on the fact that in person he really seems like a slightly retarded cartoon character or something, like the "fat guy who compulsively eats those Japanese buns" trope from various anime productions.

The stuff that he does in the ring is all just taken from elsewhere, usually pro-wrestling (mongolian chop, sobatto, etc.) and TV shows (RIDER KICK~!). Being in pro-wrestling and spending over a decade screwing around inside a ring made him comfortable enough to try new things in that context, but he didn't necessarily make them up per se.

Ivey tried a people's elbow in an MMA fight but I wouldn't describe it as creative of him to do so.


Creative would be finding ways to apply these moves in a real fight against high level opponents.
12/6/10 8:41 PM
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Fake Rassler
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LOL, wat? A guy who did pro-wrestling does the exact same stuff in a shoot and it's "creative"?

I mean, I like Sakuraba a whole lot but I just don't agree with that terminology, I guess. "innovative" for MMA might be closer to it, but I don't agree with calling someone "creative" when they didn't actually create the stuff we're talking about.
12/6/10 8:44 PM
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scuffler
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Edited: 12/06/10 8:45 PM
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KyokushinCatch - 
Steve4192 - 
scuffler - Main difference was not his pro wrestling background but his very real catch wrestling background, especially his time with Coach Billy Robinson.


^ this

Sakuraba was an incredibly skilled catch wrestler in addition to being a gifted amateur wrestler. Very few guys have the same kind of skill set that he had. Most wrestlers choose to supplement their wrestling with a conservative position-oriented BJJ base rather than a aggressive scramble-oriented catch base. It's hard to fight like Sakuraba when you don't have the skills to do so.

I think Ben Askren has some Sakuraba-like qualities (he sacrifices position all the time because of his faith in his scrambling), but he just lacks the skills to put it all together like Sakuraba did.

yup


Catch is not "scramble based"


Actually, if you watch the Caddock / Stecher match from 1920 that most believe was a shoot (a few say it was a work meant to LOOK EXACTLY like a shoot) then I'd say that there were many scrambles. Both guys seemed to have a defined plans during the scrambles, but there were many scrambles.
12/6/10 8:48 PM
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Fake Rassler
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^^^That isn't "scramble based" because the idea is definitely not to create a scramble; shit just happens. ;)

I honestly do not know of anyone involved with catch at any level who would say that it was "scramble based" and I'm afraid of rambling unnecessarily, so I'm just going to presume that you mean something like "scrambles did happen in catch" rather than "catch was scramble based because scrambles occurred in one match from the 20s that may still have been worked." (lol)

Honestly, I really feel like even asking about "scrambles" would have made one or two of the oldschool guys I've met hurt me permanently

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