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Kazushi Sakuraba returns to Gracie hunting at DREAM 14


Well, you know the old saying, stick with what you're good at.

Former PRIDE star and aging mixed martial arts legend Kazushi Sakuraba (26-12-1) will once again try and stymie the grappling efforts from Brazil's first family of submission fighting when he takes on Ralek Gracie at DREAM 14 from the Saitama Super Arena on May 29 in Saitama, Japan.

The promotion announced the 194-pound catchweight bout earlier today.

Following back-to-back defeats in 2008 against Melvin Manhoef (TKO) and Kiyoshi Tamura (unanimous decision), "The Gracie Hunter" rebounded in 2009, stringing together consecutive submission wins over Rubin Williams (Kimura) and Zelg Galesic (kneebar).

After submitting Royler Gracie (Kimura) at PRIDE 8 in 1999, the Japanese fighting pillar earned his moniker by defeating Royce (TKO), Renzo (Kimura) and the late Ryan Gracie (unanimous decision) in 2000, also under the PRIDE banner.

Royce would later avenge his loss to Sakuraba at K-1 HERO's: "Dynamite!! USA" in 2007 but his victory was tarnished after the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) popped him for steroids (nandrolone).

Gracie has not competed since.

Now Ralek gets his chance to test himself against the Japanese legend -- though Gracie has only two fights under his belt and hasn't competed since a 2008 submission win (armbar) over Alavutdin Gadjiev at DREAM 4.

Will Sakuraba be crafty enough to pull out yet another win over the Brazilian brotherhood? Time will tell.

Also announced for the May 29 event are a pair WEC veterans set to throw down in a featherweight match-up when Kenji Osawa (15-9-2) takes on Yoshiro Maeda (26-8-2).

For more on the updated DREAM 14 fight card click here.

Editor's Note: Check out Boondock's video tribute to the Gracie/Sakuraba blood feud. Great stuff.

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