Biography(references)Sakurai began training in judo during middle school, gaining several championships and then also began training in karate. During high school, he became friends with fellow combat sportsmen Michihiro Omigawa and Kazuyuki Miyata. He later became interested in shootboxing and joined Caesar Takeshi's dojo, competing for his promotion during years. In 1996, he wandered in mixed martial arts and entered Kiguchi Dojo, where he trained with Noriaki Kiguchi and Satoru Sayama's apprentice Noboru Asahi. At the end, he ended joining the Shooto organization along with a young Takanori Gomi.
Combat ApproachOn the stand-up, he favored grinding low kicks and technical boxing along with a wide usage of knee strikes, including flying knees. Finally, his grappling technique was one of his biggest strengths, using his shoot wrestling expertise to great effect. He was the only user of this discipline in reaching the ADCC finals both in his weight and absolute division, defeating heavier and more decorated grapplers like Ricco Rodriguez and Vinny Magalhães.
Awards & Accolades
DREAM: 2009 DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix Semifinalist
PRIDE Fighting Championships: 2005 PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix Runner-Up
This radar shows the proficiencies of the fighter compared to the rest of the fighter's main division. Shows the % of others this fighter is better than in that category. Striking % refers to striking accuracy and Takedown % refers to takedown accuracy More area is better.
Fightpages Web - Notable OpponentsWhat's This?
Expand to full graph
This graph shows high-profile fighters and how they are connected to each other. The lines are fights that connect the fighter avatars with the color of the line representing the outcome for the fighter. Click on the fighters and the lines for relevant info!