UnderGround Forums Why did Wanderlei have Sakuraba's number?

Edited: 3/28/20 9:22 PM
7/12/13
Posts: 9783

Sakuraba was a very crafty and successful fighter in an organization filled with absolute monsters.

Wanderlei was even more successful but with a bruising, savage, not-quite-as-crafty fighting >

On paper, one would think that Sakuraba would be able to either sub Wandy or stay out of harm's way long enough to get a decision, and yet, their three meetings were all affairs that were as brutal as they were disturbing.

I feel like Wandy's speed and power were just too much for Sakuraba who found himself in a hornet's nest every time he tried to close the distance.

Am I close?

3/28/20 9:20 PM
2/20/19
Posts: 208
Same reason if knees were allowed to downed opponents that Khabib wouldn’t be shit

That low single ankle pick crap doesn’t work irl
3/28/20 9:26 PM
2/23/11
Posts: 676

Sakuraba always ran into trouble against the hyper aggressive strikers. Wand fits that mold pretty well. Not to mention, take a beating from a guy once like that and there is a mental factor that starts to play a part. Wand was supremely confident each time he fought Saku and Saku had his face rearranged multiple times by him. By the third fight Saku had just lost to Schembri, and had already taken some bad losses and then needed to fight a roided out Wand in his prime. Thats a tough mountain to climb.

3/28/20 9:30 PM
5/8/13
Posts: 13946

Didn’t saku sorta try and throw with him? He was a crowd pleaser but I could be way off I barely remember fights from 5 years ago so anything before that is a blur. And I saw replays of those fights, not live 

3/28/20 9:56 PM
4/17/06
Posts: 2898
Wand was just too strong and too fast. The testing in this era was also just pissing in a cup and never hearing from them again. Sak had no chance.
3/28/20 10:07 PM
1/3/20
Posts: 1071
Easy to breakdown:

1. Big, Strong
2. Extremely Fast
3. Absolutely ferocious (no caution)
4. Cardio for days
5. Defense Wrestling
6. BJJ Skills (Rarely used but there nonetheless)

Yeah, so that spelled Saku's doom!
3/28/20 10:33 PM
8/15/07
Posts: 18897

Wandy was a lot better in his prime than people today give him credit for.

3/28/20 11:04 PM
11/20/05
Posts: 22460
Huge and juiced to the skills, but not in a clumsy oaf way.
3/28/20 11:30 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 63508

Wand's striking ability eclipsed Saku's wrestling.

3/29/20 12:36 AM
7/8/02
Posts: 7424

Knees to the ground.

A lot of Sakuraba’s offense came from the turtle. He reversed Vernon White numerous times off the turtle and of course beat Renzo that way. At the time turtling was suicide, especially against BJJ. Saku not only survived, but used it as a setup for attacks. In a way he was gaming the system a little bit as at the time Pride didn’t allow knees to the head of a grounded opponent.

The first Wand fight was Sakuraba’s first pride fight where knees to a grounded opponent were allowed. This played right into Wand’s hands and he absolutely crushed him with knees while he was turtled. Those knees ended his prime.

Not to mention there was a good 20lb weight difference.

3/29/20 12:39 AM
6/27/05
Posts: 27620
Just_Bleed_Guy - Same reason if knees were allowed to downed opponents that Khabib wouldn’t be shit

That low single ankle pick crap doesn’t work irl

Khabid would maul with knee stikes from headlock.

3/29/20 12:44 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 5815

makes fights and Wand was a horrible match up for Sakuraba. 

3/29/20 12:45 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 24781

Roided out of his mind. 

I think some opponents complained about greasing too.

3/29/20 12:53 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 57935

First fight: Pride13 introduced surprise rule change and Sakuraba had been sick in hospital leading up to the bout. Tries to turtle as usual and gets knee-fucked to oblivion.

Second fight: Great back and forth fight that ended with a freak injury when Sakuraba broke his collarbone.

Third fight: Sakuraba unwisely tries to beat Vanderlei at his own game. Gets KIFO

3/29/20 12:55 AM
10/9/15
Posts: 574

Bomba

3/29/20 1:08 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 3613
Squatdog -

First fight: Pride13 introduced surprise rule change and Sakuraba had been sick in hospital leading up to the bout. Tries to turtle as usual and gets knee-fucked to oblivion.

Second fight: Great back and forth fight that ended with a freak injury when Sakuraba broke his collarbone.

Third fight: Sakuraba unwisely tries to beat Vanderlei at his own game. Gets KIFO

Saku amazingly clipped Vanderlei in the first fight. The second fight was great with Sakus best effort, although Vanderlei had a deeeeep armbar that many people here claimed was fixed that he gave it up for no reason. Saku bulked up for the third fight, but Vanderlei had risen too far above him at that point. 
 

saku (who hates flying) even traveled to Curitiba to train with Chuteboxe after their rivalry ended 0-3. I guess it paid off, because Saku KOed Ken Shamrock shortly after his time at Chuteboxe. 

Edited: 3/29/20 2:59 AM
3/26/13
Posts: 36

Majority of the reasons given here are legit, except everyone seems to be forgetting one thing - his weight.  Saku would be a natural welterweight in today's MMA, but back in Pride, if he wanted to fight as a middle weight (205), all he had to do was enter "205" on the form, and he was a considered a Pride middle weight.  So, he was always fighting in middle and even higher (Open Weight Tournament) back at Pride.  Which is insane considering he can probably even make lightweight today with more modern nutrition and conditioning programs.  Wandi was always 185 - 205 even in the UFC, so, he was always fighting at his most comfy weight at 205 in Pride without cutting, and as mentioned by many others, using PED's up the ass.  Therefore, even without going into skill/strength differences, Saku's fate was already cut out for him.  It was amazing he hung in as much as he did especially since he was well known for smoking, drinking, and general poor health care (as with many Japanese athletes).

3/29/20 2:42 AM
3/26/13
Posts: 37

 

3/29/20 2:52 AM
3/26/13
Posts: 38

 

3/29/20 6:27 AM
4/11/10
Posts: 29564
Kirik -

Wand's striking ability eclipsed Saku's wrestling.

Wand’s PED use eclipsed Saku’s drinking and smoking 

3/29/20 7:41 AM
10/11/18
Posts: 1718
Squatdog - 

First fight: Pride13 introduced surprise rule change and Sakuraba had been sick in hospital leading up to the bout. Tries to turtle as usual and gets knee-fucked to oblivion.

Second fight: Great back and forth fight that ended with a freak injury when Sakuraba broke his collarbone.

Third fight: Sakuraba unwisely tries to beat Vanderlei at his own game. Gets KIFO


Hard to believe that PRIDE seriously considered a 4th bout between them at one point.
3/29/20 7:47 AM
10/13/02
Posts: 16385
They were not even in the same weight class. In today's MMA Sakuraba would be fighting guys at 170lbs.

Its pretty incredible how well Sakuraba did in open weight.

How would Khabib or Connor do in LHW or HW?

Edited: 3/29/20 7:49 AM
6/14/12
Posts: 5501

Sakuraba was 3 weight c l a ss e s smaller than wandy and 10 years older than him.

3/29/20 9:29 AM
3/28/13
Posts: 857
Soul Gravy -

Wandy was a lot better in his prime than people today give him credit for.

This!

People see his raw power and think "Oh he's powerful so he can't be skillful"

3/29/20 9:31 AM
3/28/13
Posts: 858
Slydawg - They were not even in the same weight class. In today's MMA Sakuraba would be fighting guys at 170lbs.

Its pretty incredible how well Sakuraba did in open weight.

How would Khabib or Connor do in LHW or HW?

That's why Saku is always one of the GOATs for me