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UnderGround Forums >> PRIME Frank Shamrock vs PRIME Kazushi Sakuraba


5/7/13 2:31 PM
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King Trav
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WALES1 - Prime Shamrock had it all.

Tapping out an Olympic gold medal wrestler in 16 seconds - this is one of the most underrated moments in MMA.

His slam on Zinoviev.

Beating Tito and his war with Enson. Phone Post 3.0
Tapped horn too. And that guys no slouch on the ground. Cool match up though. Catch wrestling vs catch wrestling.

Side question...has there been any big name catch wrestling vs catch wrestling match ups? Just off the top of my head I can't really think of any. I'm sure if I sat and thought about it, I'd remember some... Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 2:35 PM
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King Trav
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Jons Forsberg - Saku takes him down at will, best single leg in the biz and Frank's TDD was non-existant.
Even today saku's single is the best ever in mma. Sooooo smooth. I saw a highlight of just his single years ago. It was awesome. Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 4:19 PM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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"Frank's takedown defense sucks" isn't accurate, in my opinion. Frank's takedown defense definitely wasn't top tier but he liked fighting off his back and he didn't believe in expending a lot of energy trying to fight off takedowns in an effort to be more efficient with his cardio and endurance. He also liked going for submissions straight off takedowns and scrambles; he caught Tamura in a super slick armbar off a double leg takedown, he armbared Kevin Jackson off a double leg, and he nearly caught Tito in an armbar immediately after a takedown.

Frank went to train with the Stanford wrestling team to prepare for Tito and brought in bigger wrestlers to help him prepare. His wrestling coaches were the coaches of the Stanford team, IIRC. He wasn't inept at wrestling.

That said, I don't think there's any way he taps Sakuraba so Frank needs to abandon that style and defend takedowns and when he gets taken down he needs to scramble to his feet and work his superior kickboxing. Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 4:27 PM
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CharlesLewis
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WALES1 - 
simonpe -
WALES1 - Prime Shamrock had it all.

Tapping out an Olympic gold medal wrestler in 16 seconds - this is one of the most underrated moments in MMA.

His slam on Zinoviev.

Beating Tito and his war with Enson. Phone Post 3.0
Wrestlers were so hard to tap back then... said no one ever

Saku all day Phone Post
Fucking LOL at making out that tapping a monster like Kevin Jackson in 16 seconds as nothing special. Phone Post 3.0

I would have been more impressed if he had tapped Kevin after ten minutes on the ground with him. Catching a new-to-MMA wrestler with a quick armbar was something that used to happen a lot back then. Both guys dry, Kevin gets what he feels is the good position early and overextends... it happens. Not shitting on the win but it wasn't like he outmanuvered him and subbed him after a battle... I was far more impressed that he finished Horn, even if it seemed like a brainfart gimmie from Jeremy's side.

5/7/13 4:36 PM
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Jons Forsberg
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" Frank's takedown defense definitely wasn't top tier but he liked fighting off his back and he didn't believe in expending a lot of energy trying to fight off takedowns in an effort to be more efficient with his cardio and endurance."

that style caught up to him and Mo and soon as they fought wredtlers who had good cardio and could defend subs. Maurice was beaten pretty badly by Kevin and Frank was wrestlefucked by Renzo of all people.
5/7/13 4:38 PM
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Jons Forsberg
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King Trav - 
Jons Forsberg - Saku takes him down at will, best single leg in the biz and Frank's TDD was non-existant.
Even today saku's single is the best ever in mma. Sooooo smooth. I saw a highlight of just his single years ago. It was awesome. Phone Post 3.0

yeah it was so slick, like he relied on almost no strength to execute it, just perfect timing and perfect mechanics.
5/7/13 4:40 PM
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IP
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F Shamrock I'd lean towards
5/7/13 4:44 PM
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Wasa-B
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WALES1 - 
simonpe -
WALES1 - Prime Shamrock had it all.

Tapping out an Olympic gold medal wrestler in 16 seconds - this is one of the most underrated moments in MMA.

His slam on Zinoviev.

Beating Tito and his war with Enson. Phone Post 3.0
Wrestlers were so hard to tap back then... said no one ever

Saku all day Phone Post
Fucking LOL at making out that tapping a monster like Kevin Jackson in 16 seconds as nothing special. Phone Post 3.0

I wouldnt say it wasnt anything special but like Enson/Alger, Enson/Randy, Royce/Severn, Shamrock/Severn, as well as Bohlander/Jackson, tapping out wrestlers who didnt know the sub game wasnt as big as accomplishment as it was later on when they started to cross train properly.
5/7/13 4:50 PM
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Wasa-B
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Kneeblock - 

You have to remember, if we're talking primes, the fight would've been in Japan where taking a person down doesn't necessarily do you any favors in the judges eyes. Sak may have run the pipe on that single, but then what? Sak's grappling game wasn't necessarily positionally strong as much as it was a counterattacking style. Frank's sub game would've at least matched Sak's. 

On the feet, Frank had a clear advantage, but Sak's creativity could've taken Frank a little out of his game as that was always sort of an issue for him. 

Sak fought three of Frank's former teammates, Tiger White, Guy Mezger and Ken Shamrock. The Tiger fight was more or less a straight grappling match, which Sak won, but Vernon was never the grappler Frank was. The Mezger match was a clear win for Guy (like most of Sak's matches against strikers) though it was overshadowed by rules ambiguity and possible outright promotional chicanery. The Ken fight was just weird. It was either a job or a robbery.

They had a number of common opponents such as Allen Goes, Renzo, Tamura and Funaki, but they faced each of these guys at very different points in their career. A green Frank did much better against a young Goes than a relatively green Saku did against more experienced Goes. Sak beat Renzo, but it seems Renzo was on his way to beating Frank (though we'll never know). Tamura was a draw for Frank and a loss for an aged Sak. Funaki was basically teaching Frank in their fights, but was a shell of himself by the time he got taken out by Sak. 

There's no easy way to convincingly say who would have won. All I know is that people got so lost in the clamor for Sak vs. Rickson that this fight was barely mentioned even though it could have been made around the same time. Frank was cleared of his UFC contract drama by 2000 since he fought Elvis. Rickson had just fought Funaki earlier that year, but his son passed not long after. Pride should have moved heaven and earth to build a narrative of Sak having defeated one first family of Mixed Martial Arts and now moving on to another once it was clear the Rickson fight was out of reach. Frank said in interviews in the intervening years leading up to his return stateside in WEC that he would've loved to fight Sak since they both came from the Fujiwara lineage. But neither fans nor promoters seemed to care much for whatever reason. I suspect Frank had priced himself out and they didn't think they could get the return they would on a Rickson fight. Alternately they just didn't want to lose their meal ticket.

Interestingly, in his heyday, Sak fought only 5 Americans: White, Mezger, Randleman and Rampage. You could throw Ken in there, but by then, both were edging past their prime. The two guys I always felt he should've fought and never did were Dan Henderson and Frank. In either fight at the time, it would've been a toss-up. 

I wish we'd gotten some of these great battles, but we got plenty of others so I can't be too upset. Still...


Both had great subs but Sak had the wrestling, Frank didnt. Sak wasnt a hold position guy but he still had the abilit to control on the ground as a wrestler. I do agree Saku's ability to scramble may have not been matched technically by Frank overall but it would have given Frank the opp to get out, Frank was a good scrambler too.

I also agree that though Frank had the edge striking, Sak's creativity, mobility combined with the td may have evened things out. Frank was not as big as Mezger and Wand and didnt have their tdd.

I also dont think the Mezger win was so clear, it was a rather uneventful match and Saku was pressing the fight for large parts.

The Ken fight simply had an early stoppage. Ken went out limp and fell into the ropes with Saku ready to pounce but Ken recovered. Other Japanese fighters had also been victims of early TKO stoppages do (Hendo/Chonan comes to mind).

But yes, Sak, Frank, Hendo and of course mythial Rickson never fought each other and were all of similar size (Sak was the smallest actually in his prime).
5/7/13 4:54 PM
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Wasa-B
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King Trav - 
WALES1 - Prime Shamrock had it all.

Tapping out an Olympic gold medal wrestler in 16 seconds - this is one of the most underrated moments in MMA.

His slam on Zinoviev.

Beating Tito and his war with Enson. Phone Post 3.0
Tapped horn too. And that guys no slouch on the ground. Cool match up though. Catch wrestling vs catch wrestling.

Side question...has there been any big name catch wrestling vs catch wrestling match ups? Just off the top of my head I can't really think of any. I'm sure if I sat and thought about it, I'd remember some... Phone Post 3.0

Frank did tap Horn but Horn was beating Frank until late and then made a big mistake and Frank came thru with an opportunistic leg lock. Very doubtful that Sak would ever leave himself open like that but could see his wrestling and subgame giving Frank the trouble that everyone else did. He beat the bigger wrestler in Tito but Tito was still subgreen back then and it was before he turned cardio machine of course - that fight turned him into one.

Also, it wasnt exactly catch vs catch, Sak had a solid free background, Frank's wrestling was his weakest point.
5/7/13 4:58 PM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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Jons Forsberg - " Frank's takedown defense definitely wasn't top tier but he liked fighting off his back and he didn't believe in expending a lot of energy trying to fight off takedowns in an effort to be more efficient with his cardio and endurance."

that style caught up to him and Mo and soon as they fought wredtlers who had good cardio and could defend subs. Maurice was beaten pretty badly by Kevin and Frank was wrestlefucked by Renzo of all people.
Good post. Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 5:16 PM
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Immaculata
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One of the greatest match ups that never happened. I think Frank takes it in a decision.
5/7/13 5:31 PM
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King Trav
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Wasa-B -
King Trav - 
WALES1 - Prime Shamrock had it all.

Tapping out an Olympic gold medal wrestler in 16 seconds - this is one of the most underrated moments in MMA.

His slam on Zinoviev.

Beating Tito and his war with Enson. Phone Post 3.0
Tapped horn too. And that guys no slouch on the ground. Cool match up though. Catch wrestling vs catch wrestling.

Side question...has there been any big name catch wrestling vs catch wrestling match ups? Just off the top of my head I can't really think of any. I'm sure if I sat and thought about it, I'd remember some... Phone Post 3.0

Frank did tap Horn but Horn was beating Frank until late and then made a big mistake and Frank came thru with an opportunistic leg lock. Very doubtful that Sak would ever leave himself open like that but could see his wrestling and subgame giving Frank the trouble that everyone else did. He beat the bigger wrestler in Tito but Tito was still subgreen back then and it was before he turned cardio machine of course - that fight turned him into one.

Also, it wasnt exactly catch vs catch, Sak had a solid free background, Frank's wrestling was his weakest point.
That's true, horn was out grappling frank in that fight, but frank still won it...the look on horns face when frank snatched that leg is priceless...

Both those guys had pretty solid catch backgrounds for their subs. Frank was a scrambler though, yes. He didn't really play a traditional catch style like Barnett does...you're right there. And saku IMO used lots of catch wrestling tricks. ie his foot grabbing/toe crushing to pass.

I always wondered what franks game would've looked like with a little better wrestling (or maybe a lot better). Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 5:35 PM
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King Trav
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Jons Forsberg -
King Trav - 
Jons Forsberg - Saku takes him down at will, best single leg in the biz and Frank's TDD was non-existant.
Even today saku's single is the best ever in mma. Sooooo smooth. I saw a highlight of just his single years ago. It was awesome. Phone Post 3.0

yeah it was so slick, like he relied on almost no strength to execute it, just perfect timing and perfect mechanics.
Yeah man. Just sat dudes on their bums. Nothing hard about his td's. I love watching that. For a few years I've been trying to execute my singles like that...I just can't seem to find that timing. Maybe I should drink and smoke more... Phone Post 3.0
5/7/13 9:42 PM
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Rickson's Aura
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Sakuraba was not as big as the guys that took Frank down. Unlike Horn who was pretty much holding position Sakuraba would go for it and that gives Frank more chances to scramble. Sak isn't clowning Frank on the feet or the ground. Takedowns are his biggest weapon. He would need to be disciplined to earn a decision. Frank would be hitting him in the head the whole time. People forget that Frank was a strategic fighter and the more time he has to prepare I'd favor him over Sakuraba.

It's true that there were serious attempts by Frank to put the fight together. But then Pride would pull stuff like offering Frank a fight with Wanderlei Silva instead of Sakuraba on short notice.
5/8/13 1:05 AM
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drey1
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jacktripper - Sak would have zero chance outside of Japan Phone Post 3.0

Bullcrap like this coming from a guy that praises Skip Hall.


From:jacktripper
Posted: 12/6/06 11:26 PM
Edited: 06-Dec-06

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im a complete skip fan due to him being the only vietnam vet i know of thats an mma fighter.... ive got incredible respect for skip
5/8/13 1:31 AM
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Wasa-B
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Rickson's Aura - Sakuraba was not as big as the guys that took Frank down. Unlike Horn who was pretty much holding position Sakuraba would go for it and that gives Frank more chances to scramble. Sak isn't clowning Frank on the feet or the ground. Takedowns are his biggest weapon. He would need to be disciplined to earn a decision. Frank would be hitting him in the head the whole time. People forget that Frank was a strategic fighter and the more time he has to prepare I'd favor him over Sakuraba.

It's true that there were serious attempts by Frank to put the fight together. But then Pride would pull stuff like offering Frank a fight with Wanderlei Silva instead of Sakuraba on short notice.

Frank was not as big as Igor either.
5/8/13 9:14 AM
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Kneeblock
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Again Sak would not have been able to do anything with his takedowns. He was a counter grappler not an initiator. He caught Renzo and Royler in the transition game and Frank was just as good in transition. He also wasn't going to get any points in Japan simply for taking Frank down. He didn't have much ground and pound besides some flashy stuff. Certainly nothing damaging.

Frank was technically superior on the feet. I don't think Sak would've been submitted at all but in terms of ability to do damage Frank had a slight edge. Phone Post
5/8/13 9:46 AM
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SKARHEAD
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LOOL, no....Frank was harmless on the feet back then...he would get horribly chopped down via leg kicks...he also COULD NOT WRESTLE FOR SHIT.



This is catch wrestling vs PSEUDO Catch wrestling....Frank never wrestled and never picked up that pqrt of the game. He would hold on and be taken for a ride and hope he would land a sub....but on Saku ? No chance. Saku would do whatever he wanted with Frank....Even if he didn't sub him, Frank would just be controlled and absolutely helpless the entire time.
5/8/13 9:47 AM
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SKARHEAD
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LOL @ the Frank vs Tamura match....other than the flash sub, Frank was LITERALLY Tamura's bitch...the bottom...for the ENTIRE MATCH. HELPLESS....Prime Sak would have his way with Frank worse than Tamura and even Renzo did.
5/8/13 9:49 AM
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SKARHEAD
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SamboMMA - 
Pro Ice - 

Iirc this fight was supposed / rumoured to happen at Pride 10, not sure why it fell through

Also interesting that they have the same linage


Frank just loved to hear himself talk at that point. He was always saying he would submit Saku with ease or would KO Wand with ease. Then when the fights were offered to him he wouldn't sign.

THIS ^^ I remember when he was saying he would KO Saku i8n under 10 minutes (LOLOLOL) and beat Vanderlei and his simple caveman style of fighting.





Sure Frank.
5/8/13 9:51 AM
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SKARHEAD
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CLINTK9 - 
SamboMMA - 
Pro Ice - 

Iirc this fight was supposed / rumoured to happen at Pride 10, not sure why it fell through

Also interesting that they have the same linage


Frank just loved to hear himself talk at that point. He was always saying he would submit Saku with ease or would KO Wand with ease. Then when the fights were offered to him he wouldn't sign.

according to Metzler in the wrestling observer newsletters back then, Pride was low balling him with offers. Literally like less than 20% of what they paid Royce to fight Saku! a Pride rep had said they felt they were offering him fair money. Metzler called the offers "Ridiculous" in the newsletters back then. so maybe Frank was telling the truth about that.

Frank could have fought many great fighters in promotions all over the world back then.



Instead he chose not to fight anyone....ever...at all....and just talk shit for nearly 10 years.
5/8/13 9:52 AM
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GSP24
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Frank Shamrock via TKO. Phone Post 3.0
5/8/13 2:19 PM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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SKARHEAD - LOOL, no....Frank was harmless on the feet back then...he would get horribly chopped down via leg kicks...he also COULD NOT WRESTLE FOR SHIT.



This is catch wrestling vs PSEUDO Catch wrestling....Frank never wrestled and never picked up that pqrt of the game. He would hold on and be taken for a ride and hope he would land a sub....but on Saku ? No chance. Saku would do whatever he wanted with Frank....Even if he didn't sub him, Frank would just be controlled and absolutely helpless the entire time.
That's not true. Frank had wrestling coaches in the late 90s. They were the Stanford coaches (division 1 coaches) and he went there to train with the wrestling team. He said he trained wrestling specifically twice a week for around an hour a session.

Even before that, at the Lion's Den, wrestlers like Jerry Bohlander, Ken, and Mikey Burnett showed Frank wrestling technique and wrestled with him. Phone Post 3.0
5/8/13 2:37 PM
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Fraser_Finlay
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SAKU! Phone Post 3.0

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