Age, Biography and Wiki

Kazushi Sakuraba was born on 14 July, 1969 in Shōwa, Akita, is a Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. Discover Kazushi Sakuraba's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 51 years old?

Popular As N/A
Occupation N/A
Age 52 years old
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Born 14 July 1969
Birthday 14 July
Birthplace Shōwa, Akita
Nationality Japanese

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 14 July. He is a member of famous Wrestler with the age 52 years old group.

Kazushi Sakuraba Height, Weight & Measurements

At 52 years old, Kazushi Sakuraba height is 1.83 m and Weight 85 kg.

Physical Status
Height 1.83 m
Weight 85 kg
Body Measurements Not Available
Eye Color Not Available
Hair Color Not Available

Dating & Relationship status

He is currently single. He is not dating anyone. We don't have much information about He's past relationship and any previous engaged. According to our Database, He has no children.

Family
Parents Not Available
Wife Not Available
Sibling Not Available
Children Not Available

Kazushi Sakuraba Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Kazushi Sakuraba worth at the age of 52 years old? Kazushi Sakuraba’s income source is mostly from being a successful Wrestler. He is from Japanese. We have estimated Kazushi Sakuraba's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
House Not Available
Cars Not Available
Source of Income Wrestler

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Timeline

2018

Sakuraba is the founder of the submission wrestling promotion Quintet, where he has competed since 2018.

In April 2018, Sakuraba announced the formation of a submission wrestling promotion named Quintet (grappling). Based on five-man teams, it is fought under a kachi-nuki-shiai tournament format similar to Nanatei Judo. He competed in the inaugural event, but his team was eliminated in the semi-final round.

2017

Sakuraba fought against undefeated Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt Yan Cabral at Dream 17, losing via head arm triangle. This was Sakuraba's 6th loss in his last 8 fights.

On October 15, 2017, Sakuraba fought former UFC champion Frank Shamrock at RIZIN fighting world grand Prix 2017 Autumn: Aki Jin event in Fukuoka, Japan for a grappling exhibition march at 84 kg division. The match ended with a draw decision.

2015

On April 5 at Invasion Attack 2015, Sakuraba submitted Katsuyori Shibata in a tag team match, where he and Yano defeated Shibata and Hiroshi Tanahashi, igniting a rivalry between the former Laughter7 partners. The two faced off on July 5 at Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall in a match, where Shibata was victorious.

On October 8, 2015, new Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Rizin Fighting Federation announced at a press conference that Sakuraba would face fellow Japanese fighter and grappler Shinya Aoki on the December 29, 2015. This was Sakuraba's first fight after taking four years away from the sport. Sakuraba lost the fight via TKO at 5:56 in the first round, after being taken down and receiving ground and pound.

2014

On October 14, Sakuraba was defeated by Nagata in a singles rematch between the two. Following the match, Sakuraba and Nagata came together to accept a challenge issued by Daniel and Rolles Gracie On January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, Sakuraba and Nagata defeated the Gracies via disqualification, after Nagata was choked out with a gi. A rematch between the two teams took place on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka and saw Rolles submit Sakuraba for the win. Sakuraba suffered another loss against the Gracies on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2014, where he teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura. On May 25 at Back to the Yokohama Arena, Sakuraba ended the Gracies' win streak by defeating Rolles in a singles match. Sakuraba then started a new rivalry with Minoru Suzuki, while also forming a partnership with Toru Yano, who was also involved in his own rivalry with Suzuki's Suzuki-gun stable. The partnership led to Sakuraba becoming an associate of Yano and Nakamura's Chaos stable, eventually becoming a full-time member. The rivalry between Sakuraba and Suzuki culminated in a match on January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, where Sakuraba was defeated.

In the tournament quarterfinals Royce and Sakuraba battled for an hour and a half (six 15 minute rounds). Gracie opened the fight aggressively, raining punches from Kazushi's back while the Japanese fighter worked an armlock from standing, but Sakuraba kept calm, knowing Royce had no knockout power and expecting him to waste his energy; he even came to the point of smiling to the cameras during the attack. Towards the end of the round, Sakuraba nearly ended the match with a kneebar, while Gracie came back with a guillotine choke at the second, but Kazushi again joked to show he was out of danger by simulating to pull down Royce's gi pants. Sakuraba switched to attack at the third round, dominating the stand up and making Royce lie repeatedly on the ground to avoid him. As the confrontation stretched on, the Gracie's own no time-limit rules began to work against Royce as Sakuraba's wrestling skills and balance nullified Royce's ability to score a takedown and—in some instances—even pull guard. Even Royce's ever-present jiu-jitsu gi became a weapon for the wrestler to use against him as Sakuraba used it to help him control Gracie on the instances the fight did come to the ground. However, with Sakuraba's control of the takedown, these instances of ground warfare became increasingly sporadic. After Kazushi landed a long series of punishing leg kicks at the fifth and sixth rounds, Royce's brother, Rorion threw in the towel.

Afterwards, the usually soft-spoken Sakuraba surprised many with complaints that Akiyama's body had been greased. The referee in charge subsequently checked Akiyama's body and gave indication to ringside officials that he had not found anything unusual. In the aftermath of the fight the controversy escalated drastically and new accusations of weighed gloves also surfaced. To deal with the growing controversy, K-1 launched an investigation to look into the accusations against Akiyama. Although Akiyama's gloves were found to be regulation, video-tape revealed Akiyama administering a lotion to his skin. Akiyama—who attested he was simply treating his dry skin—was found to have been "negligent" and disqualified. The fight was subsequently declared a no-contest and Akiyama's purse was withheld. A press conference followed, wherein Akiyama—now heavily maligned by the Japanese sports media—offered a public apology.

Following that win, he would next share the mixed martial arts ring with his fellow shoot wrestler and UWFi alum, Kiyoshi Tamura. Once again donning the guise of his childhood hero, Tiger Mask, as he had to signal his exodus from Pride Fighting Championships to Heros, Sakuraba this time wore the mask to mark the occasion of his return to Pride at their final DSE promoted show, Kamikaze. Before the assembled crowd at the Saitama Super Arena—Pride's most frequented venue—Sakuraba and Tamura publicly voiced their willingness to meet in a Pride ring, before shaking hands and embracing. A bout between Tamura and Sakuraba had been one of Pride's most frequently promised match-ups, one that had never been delivered upon in spite of several efforts to put it together.

On November 22, 2014, Sakuraba fought Renzo Gracie in a grappling match in Metamoris V. Renzo played defensive closed guard earlier in the match, with the two exchanging guillotine choke attempts, but he eventually flipped Sakuraba over and pinned him. However, Sakuraba resisted all of his submission attempts, and with 90 seconds left he scrambled and tried to lock a Kimura, which was unsuccessful. The fight ended in a draw.

2013

After sitting out the next Pride to recuperate, Sakuraba found himself across the ring from Quinton Jackson, a former collegiate wrestler who had compiled a record of 10–1 on the American circuit. At the sound of the bell, Sakuraba immediately took the bigger man to the canvas with a low single-leg takedown. However, Jackson's superior size and enormous physical strength allowed him to muscle out of Sakuraba's submission attempts. After locking his legs around Jackson for a triangle choke, Sakuraba found himself hefted into the air and repeatedly slammed to the canvas in the way of a powerbomb. Later, he attempted an armbar against Jackson, only for the Tennessee native to again lift him up and this time attempt to drop him from the ring. His expression unchanging through the course of Jackson's assault, Sakuraba continued to flow from one lock to another. Eventually, he took the back of an exhausted Jackson and submitted him with his first rear naked choke victory. The contest was a launchpad for Jackson's career, leading to a long-term contract with Pride where he eventually became regarded as a top middleweight competitor, and later, a UFC champion.

Sakuraba was then scheduled to compete in Hero's Light Heavyweight Tournament. His first opponent was the 16–5 Lithuanian Kęstutis Smirnovas. Sakuraba opened the fight striking aggressively, even flooring Smirnovas with a kick, but as he was coming in to follow up he was caught and knocked down to his knees and hands. Kazushi then turned over, sliding beneath the bottom rope, and Smirnovas unleashed repeated blows to his head. As Sakuraba seemed at this point unable to defend himself, when the referee stepped between the two fighters it seemed likely he was moving to put an end to the contest. However, instead of halting the battle, the referee re-positioned the fighters from underneath the bottom rope into the ring and resumed the bout. Though the restarting of fighters who have found themselves near or outside the ropes is common practice, it was nonetheless controversial. Following the restart, Smirnovas picked up where he'd left off and proceed to pound a turtled Sakuraba, but the Japanese managed to escape to his feet and land a sharp combination, staggering Smirnovas and bloodying his face. Having turned the tide of the match, Sakuraba began dominating the Lithuanian on the striking segments until Smirnovas dropped to the ground to escape the assault. Sakuraba then accomplished an armbar, forcing his opponent to give up.

2012

On August 12, 2012, Sakuraba, alongside Katsuyori Shibata, started appearing in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. It was Sakuraba's first work for the company since 1995, and the first ever as a free agent instead of a representative from another promotion. Sakuraba and Shibata wrestled their first match on September 23, defeating Hiromu Takahashi and Wataru Inoue in a tag team match. Sakuraba and Shibata, collectively dubbed Laughter7, continued their winning ways at the following two pay-per-views, King of Pro-Wrestling on October 8 and Power Struggle on November 11, both times defeating the team of Togi Makabe and Wataru Inoue. Also at Power Struggle, Shinsuke Nakamura nominated Sakuraba as the next challenger for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On December 2, Sakuraba won his first exchange with Nakamura, when Laughter7 defeated Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii in a tag team match to remain undefeated since their return. On January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, Sakuraba suffered his first defeat since his return to professional wrestling, when he unsuccessfully challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Sakuraba and Shibata returned to their winning ways at the following pay-per-view, The New Beginning on February 10, where they defeated Hirooki Goto and Wataru Inoue in a tag team match. On April 7 at Invasion Attack, Sakuraba and Shibata suffered their first tag team loss, when they were defeated by Hirooki Goto and Yuji Nagata via referee stoppage, when Sakuraba injured his right elbow, after taking a belly-to-back suplex from Nagata, and unable to continue the match. New Japan later announced that Sakuraba would be sidelined for two to three months. Sakuraba wrestled his return match on July 20, defeating Yuji Nagata via submission. On September 8, Sakuraba and Shibata took part in the Wrestle-1 promotion's inaugural event, defeating Masakatsu Funaki and Masayuki Kono in a tag team match. Sakuraba continued his rivalry with Yuji Nagata at the September 29 Destruction pay-per-view, where he and Shibata defeated Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi with Sakuraba pinning his rival for the win.

2010

Sakuraba fought for the Dream Welterweight Championship against current champion Marius Zaromskis at Dynamite!! 2010 in December 2010. The fight ended in doctor stoppage, Sakuraba's ear was partially ripped off.

2008

In 2008, it was announced that Kazushi Sakuraba would compete in the Middleweight Grand Prix of the new MMA promotion, Dream. On 29 April 2008, Sakuraba defeated Andrews Nakahara in the main event at Dream 2: Middle Weight Grandprix 2008 1st Round. However, he was knocked out (and thus eliminated from the tournament) by Melvin Manhoef in the main event of Dream 4: Middle Weight Grandprix 2008 2nd Round. During the match, Sakuraba suffered an ulnar fracture of the left forearm, which was caused by a kick from Manhoef./

Finally it was announced that Kiyoshi Tamura and Kazushi Sakuraba were set to fight at the K-1 Dynamite!! 2008 event on December 31. The fight featured Sakuraba fighting mostly from his back, attempting armbars, kneebars and triangle chokes from his guard while Tamura defended them and applied ground and pound. At the end of the first round, Sakuraba appeared to have an armbar locked in, but the bell sounded before he could extend the arm. Tamura held on at the second, controlling much of the action and consistently kicking Sakuraba's injured legs; he was taken down in the final minute by Sakuraba, who immediately launched a barrage of punches, only for the bell to end his attacks again. Ultimately, Tamura was awarded a unanimous decision.

2007

On 2 June 2007, Sakuraba rematched Royce Gracie in K-1 Dynamite!! USA. While Sakuraba knocked Gracie to the canvas in the opening seconds, the bout itself was fought at a relatively slow pace, with Kazushi scoring multiple takedowns and Gracie scoring a number of flailing kicks to the legs and face from the bottom, as well as standing knee strikes to Kazushi's injured and bandaged knee. The Japanese wrestler also besieged Gracie on the ground, finishing the bout having taken the back of Gracie and searching for an armbar. Royce won by unanimous decision, which many viewers and MMA sites disputed immediately on the feeling that Sakuraba won the fight. Sherdog scored it 29–28 in favor of the Japanese fighter. Moreover, Gracie tested positive for steroids after the bout.

Sakuraba returned to the ring on 17 September 2007 at K-1 Hero's 10 against former NJPW pro wrestler Katsuyori Shibata. Prior to the bout, Shibata's trainer, Masakatsu Funaki had challenged Sakuraba on the basis that he their styles would make for an entertaining contest. Shibata came out striking aggressively, but was soon taken to the canvas by Sakuraba's trademark single leg. Shibata unleashed a torrent of blows off his back, but the more experienced Sakuraba responded with strikes of his own before transitioning into an armbar and finishing the bout.

2006

On 3 May 2006, Sakuraba surprisingly appeared with Hero's head Akira Maeda at a Hero's event wearing his street clothes (yellow shirt and blue jeans) and a pro wrestling mask in the style of one of his childhood heroes, Tiger Mask. He did not reveal himself, but it was apparent that it was a masked Sakuraba and that he signed with K-1 and FEG. A day later, Sakuraba appeared at a FEG press conference to announce he would fight in Hero's. His defection to Hero's was a culmination of several signs that suggested he was leaving Pride. It was reported that Sakuraba left Takada Dojo (run by Pride's general manager, Nobuhiko Takada), and conspicuously was not entered into Pride's 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix Tournament.

In spite of this revelation, rather than being granted a break to recover and possibly undergo surgery Sakuraba scheduled to return to action on December 31, 2006 against Yoshihiro Akiyama at K-1 Dynamite!!. During the bout, Sakuraba was hit with several punches and he rushed to get the takedown, but in doing so he slipped from Akiyama's body. As the sequence repeated itself over and over while Sakuraba took punishment, he opted to drop to his back and attempt a kneebar from there, but his grip on the judoka inexplicably failed again. Having Sakuraba trapped against the ropes and struggling for his submission, Akiyama was free to attack with ground and pound for the referee stoppage. Words were exchanged between Sakuraba and referee Yoshinori Umeki prior to the stop, which was brought on by the sounding of a bell at the behest of Akira Maeda, the event coordinator, the referee separating the fighters following the bell rather than initiating the stop himself.

2005

After a quick TKO victory over decorated judoka Yoon Dong-sik in the opening round, Sakuraba suffered a particularly devastating yet controversial loss against Ricardo Arona in the quarterfinal of the tournament in June 2005. Although Sakuraba put Arona on his back and seemed to put to work his signature jumping stomps, the heavier and stronger Arona soon overpowered him, landing a series of brutal knees to the head, as well as hard soccer kicks to the face. The Brazilian's toenail accidentally slashed open the skin over Sakuraba's left eye, which Ricardo then capitalized on by squeezing the cut and digging his finger into it in order to force the doctor stoppage. The Japanese tried to keep on, but Arona hit another flurry of knees to the head, and ended the fight landing soccer kick after soccer kick, rendering Kazushi's face severely swollen and bloody. Arona won by unanimous decision.

Prior to Pride's Shockwave 2005 New Year's Eve event, Sakuraba strongly petitioned for a match against fellow shoot wrestler and professional wrestling proponent, Kiyoshi Tamura, even going so far as to publicly request a bout with Tamura. However, with Tamura refusing to face him, Sakuraba recommended another shoot wrestler, Ikuhisa Minowa, who referred to himself as a "real pro wrestler." Sakuraba did not request the match due to any grudge against Minowa, but rather because he believed that he and Minowa would put on a fight worthy of the Shockwave event. The bout was a competitive one, with Sakuraba choosing to fight from the bottom and using both men's submission attempts to force scrambles. After long minutes pinned under Sakuraba, Minowa escaped and took his back, but Kazushi applied a Kimura lock which, although Minowa would not tap to it, nonetheless prompted the referee to halt the contest. The victory marked his final bout under the Pride banner; it also marked one of the few times he was matched against an opponent of his own size from the 183-pound division and his first bout against a Japanese fighter.

2003

At Pride Shockwave 2003, Sakuraba would face Antônio Rogério Nogueira, brother to the famous Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. The Brazilian, having promised to knock out the Japanese, opened the match lunging at him with punches, but Kazushi answered in kind and opened a cut on Nogueira's eye which almost stopped the bout. The action resumed, both men battled for several minutes, with Rogério gaining the upper hand in striking and Sakuraba in wrestling, allowing him to get in Nogueira's guard and inflict significant damage again. During the second round, Nogueira managed to catch Sakuraba in a triangle choke/armbar combo, but the Japanese escaped the hold and sought his own submission, to no effect. Finally, the third round saw Nogueira taking over with punches and knees, exchanging strikes with Sakuraba almost until the last minute, and ultimately winning the decision.

2000

While the Japanese fight media rejoiced and elevated Sakuraba to superstar status, the Gracie family took great umbrage over the incident, feeling that they had been cheated by Pride. Despite Sakuraba challenging Royler's older brother Rickson Gracie after the match, it was his younger brother and former UFC Champion Royce Gracie who, compelled to set the record straight and re-assert the dominance of his family, returned to the sport of mixed martial arts in 2000 and entered the 16-Man Pride Grand Prix alongside Sakuraba and several other top fighters of the era. Placed on the same side of the bracket, a special set of rules were requested by the Gracies in the event of a Sakuraba-Royce match, including no referee stoppages and no time-limits, the fight ending only in the event of a submission or knock-out (something prohibited in modern MMA because of the widely adopted Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts limiting matches to 25 minutes overall, 5 x 5 minute rounds).

In his first fight of the 2000 Pride tournament Sakuraba once again found himself matched up against a heavier opponent, this time the well-regarded 205 pound fighter, former King of Pancrase Guy Mezger. After a closely fought 15 minutes the judges requested an overtime round, and the fight ended in controversy when Mezger's coach Ken Shamrock forced his fighter back to the locker room claiming that no additional rounds were agreed upon in the contract. Sakuraba ended up winning the match by forfeit. Meanwhile, Royce defeated Nobuhiko Takada by unanimous decision and thus set the stage for their much anticipated showdown.

1998

With Nobuhiko Takada having left Kingdom to challenge Rickson Gracie in an event called Pride Fighting Championships, the still struggling promotion capitalized on Sakuraba's newly found popularity establishing him as Kingdom's top talent. He embarked on a winning streak against several foreign mixed martial arts competitors including Paul Herrera, Rene Rooze, Mark Hall and Orlando Weit. However, Kingdom continued to flounder and finally folded in March 1998.

1996

New Japan's dominance in the feud injured the marketability of the UWFi promotion, which had pressed the perception that their athletes boasted legitimate skill in real fighting. In a bid to regain credibility, Yoji Anjoh travelled to California to perform a dojo challenge on Rickson Gracie, only to be swiftly and brutally defeated before the assembled Japanese press that had followed him there. With the UWFi's formerly fearsome reputation in tatters, its attendance numbers swiftly decreased, with the federation closing its doors once and for all in December 1996. In their final show it was Sakuraba who at long last headlined, defeating Anjoh by submission.

Though sources often cite Sakuraba's match with Kimo Leopoldo on July 14, 1996 as his first experience with mixed martial arts, there is debate about whether it was a shoot or a worked match. Sakuraba himself has stated that he doesn't remember it. However, his first contact with MMA can be traced to his different style fight at 26 June 1996 against Dutch kickboxer Rene Rooze, which was won by Sakuraba via ankle hold.

1995

Though his record remained below .500, Sakuraba continued to edge his way closer to mid-card status through the rest of the year. Then, in 1995, the UWFi began an interpromotional feud with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The vast majority of UWF-i workers came out on the losing end of the booking to the larger and more mainstream promotion and Sakuraba was no exception. He was defeated in high-profile bouts to Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Koji Kanemoto and Shinjiro Otani, bringing Sakuraba a new level of exposure to the public. The ring psychology and technical prowess he displayed in the bouts also impressed the management of the UWF-i enough that he was finally pushed towards main event status.

1993

In spite of his amateur pedigree, Sakuraba was forced to work his way up from the bottom of the UWFi's rung, as it is traditional in puroresu. Sakuraba lost his debut on August 13, 1993 to Steve Nelson and went winless through his rookie year with the league. It is also popularly alleged that under the eye of Kiyoshi Tamura, he was made to perfectly perform menial chores about the dojo. Still undeterred, Sakuraba steadily built a working knowledge of submission holds upon his freestyle wrestling base until his efforts were at last rewarded with a win over Mark Silver in October 1994.

1969

Kazushi Sakuraba (桜庭 和志 , Sakuraba Kazushi, born July 14, 1969) is a Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler, currently signed to Rizin Fighting Federation. He has competed in traditional puroresu for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and shoot-style competition for UWFi and Kingdom Pro Wrestling (KPW). He has fought in MMA competition in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, Hero's and Dream. He is known as the "Gracie Hunter" or the "Gracie Killer" due to his wins over four members of the famed Gracie family: Royler Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Ryan Gracie, and Royce Gracie. In particular, Sakuraba is famous for his initial fight with Royce, which lasted ninety minutes and ended after Royce was unable to continue due to damage received from Sakuraba.