UnderGround Forums Greatest Japanese fighter ever?

1/17/21 10:12 AM
2/19/13
Posts: 424

Who do you think the greatest japanese fighter ever is?

and explain why it's Sakuraba

1/17/21 10:22 AM
4/21/06
Posts: 66425

Jason Mayhem Miller on Twitter: "#throwbackthursday THE FIRST MAN TO SUBMIT THE 'GRACIE KILLER.' http://t.co/Oxz0aRFHti"

1/17/21 10:38 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 42235

Gomi, Sakurai, Aoki, Fujita, TK, Uno, Hamasaki, Megumi Fujii, Horiguchi, Okami, Funaki, Suzuki, Minowa, Yoshida etc... are all in the top 20 with Saku IMO.

No clue who would be "greatest". Tough to say when you compete in different eras and in different talent pools.

Horiguchi was the #1 contender in the UFC and only lost to the GOAT, has captured titles in Bellator and Rizin up a weight from his UFC run. 29-3 and avenged one of those loses. Did well in kickboxing vs Tenshin as well.

Now he never fought up two weight like Saku and did not fight with no time limit or twice in one night so its tough to compare their careers. Also did not face as tough of comp as early as Saku.

Now someone like Hamasaki has never lost in her weight after a decade of comp besides a SD vs a fighter she is 2-1 vs in her career. That being said her women's AW has only a fraction of the talent in it compared to Horiguchi or Saku's so how do you compare the genders? You can't. Gomi started his career 28-3 before loses started to pile up after a decade of comp.

45-9 Aoki has had the best career if length of career at the elite level is a factor.

My top 3 in no order are:

Horiguchi, Sakuraba, Gomi

1/17/21 10:43 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 42236

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1/17/21 10:44 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 42237

Andrei Arlovski and Takanori Gomi Among Fighters Added to UFC Singapore

1/17/21 10:47 AM
2/19/13
Posts: 425

I loved Gomi as well, kind of wish he hung it up before the losses started, but so is the way of the fight game and our legends who love going out on their shields. 
Props for bringing up Hamasaki, I have nothing against WMMA but honestly did not even think of her. 
Horiguchi was great as well. For some reason I was never a fan of Aoki, not sure why. But you can’t deny the resume 

1/17/21 10:48 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 42238

NYE 2011 - Atsushi Sawada Shinichi Suzukawa vs. Katsuyori Shibata Kazushi Sakuraba - Entrances on Make a GIF

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1/17/21 11:06 AM
6/14/12
Posts: 8132

Saku

Sakurai

Gomi 

Horiguchi

Funaki

1/17/21 11:14 AM
7/27/04
Posts: 27823

39

1/17/21 11:29 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 42239

TK was not the best ever but he don't get the respect he should outside the hardcores... had wins over Mo Smith, Ilyukhin, Kimo, Volk Han, Fulton, Lajcik, Williams, Yvel, Moraes, Waterman and Sperry. Was beating Rutten until the end of the fight. Came out of retirement at 45 years old after ten years away and TKOed James Thompson. Then at 46 years old he decided to fight a 6'6 450 sumo and then Crocop. Legend.

1/17/21 11:46 AM
9/18/02
Posts: 3348

Genki ???

1/17/21 12:01 PM
7/27/04
Posts: 27824

Kid Yamamoto too!

1/17/21 12:29 PM
8/15/07
Posts: 21336
Saku, by far. Had legit wins against monsters, and fought against so many big names. Legit skills and unparalleled showmanship. When Saku fought, you knew you were watching something epic. Special. Something that transcended the sport.
1/17/21 12:33 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 42240
EKPOGI -

Kid Yamamoto too!

I think his run through the Hero's tourny where he beat Royler, Uno and then Sudo is one of the greatest tournament performances in MMA history.

He had an epic seven year undefeated streak and was winning fights at BW, FW and LW during that period.

Legend.

1/17/21 2:40 PM
6/14/12
Posts: 8133

Kid and caol uno also

1/17/21 2:46 PM
9/20/19
Posts: 8383

Saku was the most relevant, that’s for sure. 

1/17/21 3:24 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 60911
Saku.

Kid for as big a star he was doesnt get mentiond too much guess cuz he was a star over there and never had his moments here.

Glad Aoki is getting some mention, iirc he did reach #1 when he beat JZ.

Sakurai however never gets any mention any more.....like not even as amention for one of Andersons major wins.
1/17/21 3:26 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 60912
BJ Penn Forever - 
EKPOGI -

Kid Yamamoto too!

I think his run through the Hero's tourny where he beat Royler, Uno and then Sudo is one of the greatest tournament performances in MMA history.

He had an epic seven year undefeated streak and was winning fights at BW, FW and LW during that period.

Legend.


His stoppage vs Sudo was a bit iffy but yeah, i think the guy could have made 125. Did he fight at 135 in the UFC cant remember?
1/17/21 3:27 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 60913
Okami is prob the next best UFC fighter after Horiguchi
1/17/21 3:37 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 52723

Prime Gomi

1/17/21 3:55 PM
10/5/12
Posts: 1813

Nobody has mentioned Kiyoshi Tamura and that's a shame. I've got him and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka as two of the best early fighters. Tamura was a star in Rings and beat Sakuraba. Saku is the most popular, but Tamura wasn't overlooked by the Japanese fans who loved the pro wrestling crossovers.

1/17/21 4:02 PM
2/19/13
Posts: 427
Wasa-B - Okami is prob the next best UFC fighter after Horiguchi

I agree.  Okami and Akiyama are probably the most well known by North American casuals who only watch the UFC as well. Akiyama wasn't one of the greatest fighters but he was definitely a fan favourite

1/17/21 4:22 PM
6/9/16
Posts: 10199

What happened to Japanese fighters? Are there any left who are top 15 in any major MMA organization? They've fallen off the map.


Is it because wrestling and BJJ have taken over as the dominant bases and too few Japanese fighters have adapted to those >

1/17/21 4:28 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 42242
Taco Muncher -

What happened to Japanese fighters? Are there any left who are top 15 in any major MMA organization? They've fallen off the map.


Is it because wrestling and BJJ have taken over as the dominant bases and too few Japanese fighters have adapted to those >

Japanese MMA fell off the map so it must be harder to run gyms and not as many kids dream of doing it if its not as popular.

Its not the wrestling issue, Japan has good wrestling. Suzuki, Fujita, Kawajiri, Ishita, Saku etc... all came from a wrestling base way back in the day.

A guy who took silver in greco at worlds just made his debut vs Tokoro on NYE.

I think MMA declined in Japan more than wrestling declining.

1/17/21 4:46 PM
9/28/03
Posts: 9543

Sak, although he looked bad after the Silva fights.