You’ve got to hand it to Sakuraba, he sure does have a sense of humor. The intro video for his fight against Kiyoshi Tamura was totally LOL-worthy. It started by showing Saku taking a beating from Melvin Manhoef, then cut to a heartbeat monitor and Saku in the hospital. Cut to him waking up and several masked figures are hovering over him, and they dress him up like a construction worker as he screams in fear. Hey, I didn’t say it made sense, did I?
As for the actual fight against Tamura, it was less entertaining. Saku simply looked flat and spent the majority of the fight on his back eating strikes. He was never in real danger down there, but gone was the Sakuraba of the past that could pull an armbar out of nowhere in his sleep. He actually spent a few minutes in perfect position for a triangle but didn’t even attempt it. I dunno what was up with that … his leg was bandaged up to the point where maybe a triangle would pop his knee out of joint? Regardless, it was strange.
On the feet, Tamura was owning Sakuraba to the point where I though he was going to KO the aging legend. Several leg kicks had Sakuraba hopping on one foot, followed by several good clean shots to the face. And then Tamura confused everyone in the chat by shooting and taking Sakuraba down!
All in all it was a strange bout, marked more by what each fighter DIDN’T do rather than what they did. In the end, Tamura took the unanimous decision and won what was a very average match. Does Sakuraba even care anymore?