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DREAM 11: Kazushi Sakuraba late addition to Oct. 6 event in Japan


Japanese mixed martial arts legend and one of the most revered figures in the sport, Kazushi Sakuraba (24-12-1), surfaced as a late addition to Tuesday's DREAM 11, joining the semifinalists of featherweight and "Super Hulk" tournaments at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.

The abrupt, last-minute fight card arrangement has not ended because the opponent for "Gracie Killer" has yet to be named.

The 40-year-old professional wrestler turned MMA fighter become a pioneer in the sport during his tenure under the Pride FC banner. In his 27 appearances in the now defunct organization, he had made a name for himself as a charismatic warrior.

Known for his flamboyant ring entrances and unorthodox catch wrestling-derived fighting style, Sakuraba has fought more than his fair share of memorable bouts that have been etched in the annals of MMA history.

Among the names he has faced include Wanderlei Silva, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Randleman, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Carlos Newton. Of course, he earned his nickname with victories over members of the legendary family, including Renzo, Royce, Royler and Ryan Gracie.

Despite his legendary status, he is currently on a two-fight slide and has not had a win since April 2008 (Andrews Nakahara).

Elsewhere, Daisuke Nakamura (20-10), originally scheduled to face Gesias Cavalcante, will now fight in DREAM 12 later this month. Since Cavalcante withdrew because of injury, DREAM has been unable to procure an opponent for him. Perhaps the delay could have been a blessing in disguise for Nakamura, as he now joins a star-studded lineup in the first caged fight card in promotional history.

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