Originally Posted by sugarngold
Rickson never ducked Sakuraba. Rickson Gracie was the best jiujitsu player and fighter to come out of Brazil by virtue of defeating all opponents in the birthplace of what would become MMA where BJJ schools had intense rivalries with Vale Tudo schools that emphasized what? Muay thai and no gi jiujistu ala modern mixed martial artists. Rickson came to the States with his brother in the late 80's and spread the art through backroom smokers against all challengers.
Rickson helped raised MMA at the world level by his victories in Japan at the same time his brother was winning in the UFC. Rickson at what was by then the end of his career helped raise Brazilian jiujitsu and the sport that would become mixed martial arts to prominence. If Sakuraba wanted to fight Rickson then he had two Japanese based tournaments to enter and get his chance but it never happened. Sakuraba wasn't a mixed martial artist at the point Rickson was ending his career. Saks DUBIOUS victory over Royler hurt his chance to get a superfight with Rickson - when the ref stopped the fight without a tap or verbal submission from Royler who was severely outweighed by Sakuraba. Sak and the for lack of a better term scheming Japanese were not to be trusted after that point much like in Royce's first fight with Yoshida which was stopped simply because Yoshida obtained the mount position.
Rickson left the Pride org which was essentially started to defeat him - to fight in the fledgling Kingdom organization against one of the best Japanese martial artist to come out of the Pancrase org - Funaki - who held submission victories over everyone from Bas Rutten to Ken and Frank Shamrock to Guy Mezger to Maurice Smith. Rickson chocked him unconscious - the same as he would have done to Ruas, Rutten, Shamrock, Sakuraba and any other fighter below 200 lbs that you could have put in the ring with him at the time. Poll any number of knowledgeable jiujitsuan about the best jiujitsu fighter ever and they will all point to one man. Now let's lay off the lame ass ducking bullshit talk and show some respect to the God of Jiujitsu Rickson Gracie.
End of paragraph. End of thread.
Some good points and I can tell you know what you're talking about.
But the fact remains. Sakuraba got a questionable stoppage over Royler after beating the crap out of him for the whole fight but there is no way on earth anybody can make an argument that Royler stood a chance in that fight. Granted, Royler was much smaller than Sakuraba, so Royce showed up to fight Sak with all kinds of ridiculous rules which resulted in Royce actually leaving Japan in a wheel chair when the fight was done and Sakuraba going on to fight Igor V.
Then Renzo came along and got his arm broken. Then Ryan (RIP) literally got his ass spanked by Sakuraba.
I forget what fight happened first... Sak vs Ryan or Rickson vs Funaki...
But it doesn't matter. The fact remains, the Gracie family promoted themselves as being undefeated for 70 years until Ishmael put Royce to sleep and Sakuraba defeated Royler, Royce and Renzo in dominating fashion. Rickson Gracie had his chance to represent his family. But instead....
...Rickson said, "Sakuraba has no aura as a warrior"... Seriously, wtf is that?! Brings us back to the origin of this thread, that Mayweather has ducked Pacquiao, the same way Rickson ducked Sakuraba for fear of risking an undefeated record.
No doubt that Rickson is a brilliant jujitsu artist, but Royler, Royce, Renzo and even Ryan had the balls to step up where Rickson only gave excuses.