The first Metamoris 5 countdown video is up.
The video covers the main event bout between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba. It opens up by showing an incredible mansion that Renzo Gracie currently lives in. He says that his basement is 4500 square foot, which is larger than double the house I live in. Renzo tells a story about Forrest Griffin commenting on how nice Renzo is and how it must be for show. Renzo says if he’s not nice, he’s hitting you.
The fact is that Renzo has moved on from the active competitor role. The 47-year old has moved on to an ambassador role and is very involved in the World Jiu Jitsu expo which is starting to be an annual showcase of all things Jiu Jitsu, including seminars from big names and some interesting match-ups. Often times when people go train at Team Renzo Gracie in New York it is because of his black belt John Danaher. John’s cerebral approach to the game has made him an asset to many fighters but most notably Georges St-Pierre.
Kazushi Sakuraba is coming into this bout at 46 years of age. The video shows that his body doesn’t quite move the same after years of hard bouts, training, and a hard lifestyle. Sakuraba was the biggest star of the old Pride Fighting Championships organization and had many historical bouts; one of which happened to be against Renzo Gracie. Sakuraba, in this video, didn’t seem to be aware of the rules of the bout and commentated that this is one of the last bouts he’ll ever be able to take. The contrast between the two was striking.
This match-up has me excited based solely on the fact that I still have nostalgia for the Kazushi Sakuraba era in MMA. This match-up doesn’t claim to settle any feud and how it could it? Both men are past their primes and their reputations are mostly made. Sakuraba he has returned to take some bouts with the professional wrestling company New Japan Pro Wrestling. Gracie has built a strong brand. This fight is intended to gather eyes to see the amazing Jiu Jitsu on the undercard. I am okay with that because putting names only hardcores would know on top wouldn’t get near the same amount of eyeballs. Renzo beating Sakuraba today doesn’t mean much in my opinion, but that’s the result I expect. Hopefully enough people watch so the new generation can gain visibility.