LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Kazushi Sakuraba and Renzo Gracie fought to a draw at Metamoris 5 on Saturday, but for the Japanese superstar, a tie left him feeling disappointed in his performance.
The submission grappling event took place from the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif., and featured Gracie and Sakuraba in the main event.
“I am upset with my performance because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do,” Sakuraba told Sherdog.com through a translator. “But I'm going to implement what I wasn’t able to tonight and look to improve in the future.”
A rematch 15 years in the making, “The Gracie Hunter” defeated Gracie at Pride 10 in 2000, but according to Sakuraba, the strength of the 47-year-old surprised him.
“Renzo was stronger than I thought physically,” Sakuraba said.
The match was a stalemate from the beginning, with both men alternating between dominant positions. But in the end, when the final gong sounded, the jiu-jitsu practitioner's arms were raised. Sakuraba blames the lack of a finish on his inability to get in any sort of groove over 20 minutes.
“I knew it was going to be strictly grappling, so I tried to pace myself, but I couldn’t get in any rhythm to submit Renzo,” Sakuraba said.
When asked about competing in a Metamoris event in the future the 45-year-old Sakuraba left the door open for a return.
“After every match I learn from it and then try to implement it into future training and future fights; this time around there is a lot that I found out about myself that I know I need to improve and work on.”
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