Today, at the Dream 14 press conference in Tokyo, the under-84kg fight between Kazushi Sakuraba and Ralek Gracie was confirmed for the coming 29th of May.
Rorion’s son will be the fifth family member to face the 40-year old Japanese star, who beat Royler, Renzo, Royce and now-departed Ryan, and lost to Royce in their last outing.
A novelty in this affair is that the fight will be held in a cage, and not the ring where the classic showdowns with the Gracie family were held.
Sakuraba (26w, 12l, 1d, 2 NC) remarked on the matchup to take place in the Saitama Super Arena: “To me there isn’t much difference between a ring and a cage,” explained the fighter, who debuted in Dream’s cage in his last appearance. Before that, he had already fought in a cage at Ultimate Japan, in 1996.
“I never used the cage itself in my fight career, so I don’t know if I’m suited for the cage or not. But when I train here at my gym, people push me against the walls a lot, and that reminds me of fighting in a cage. We’ll see; my last fight took place entirely in the middle of the ring. Let’s see how I do now,” he said without further commentary, as reported by Tony Loiseleur, of Sherdog.com.
The Japanese fighter is riding a two-fight win streak, the last coming by way of kneebar on Zelg Galesic on October 9, at Dream 12, already in the cage. Now Ralek, 25, has two fights and two wins under his belt, both by armbar in the first round.
At Dream 14, veteran featherweights Yoshiro Maeda and Kenji Osawa will face off as well.
What about you, do you believe young Ralek can be the first to submit Sakuraba since his debut fight against Kimo Leopoldo in 1996?