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UFC Quick Quote: The Japanese ruined Kazushi Sakuraba

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"I’m a huge Sakuraba fan. The problem with the Sakuraba story is, Sakuraba should have fought at 170 pounds instead of doing all these Japanese freak show fights where they got him destroyed by guys who were two weight classes heavier than him. So, it goes unanswered whether Kazushi Sakuraba could have been the greatest fighter to ever come out of Japan. The Japanese ruined him! It’s just like any other sport that starts out in the beginning. Guys that were great that you try to compare ‘em to different eras and, you know, like I told you — (I’m a) huge Sakuraba fan and it’s unfortunate that his career wasn’t handled in the right way where we could have found out if this guy was possibly the best fighter ever in Japanese history and I don’t disagree with you at all that he was a huge superstar and definitely put, you know, it on the map, not only in Japan but in the rest of the world."

UFC President Dana White tells Mauro Ranallo (via Fight Opinion) that mixed martial arts legend Kazushi Sakuraba could have been the best ever -- if the Japanese didn't ruin him with freak show fights contested outside his natural weight class. The 42 year-old Sakuraba, perhaps best known for owning the Gracie clan, continues to compete overseas, where he is currently mired in a three-fight losing streak, despite the years of abuse he's already taken. Anyone out there in MMA land agree with White's claim that Yushin Okami is the greatest fighter to come out of Japan? Or does that distinction belong to Sakuraba?

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