Metamoris 5 took place on November 22, 2014 in Longbeach, California with Kazushi Sakuraba and Renzo Gracie make a fourteen-year rematch fighting to a 20-minute Draw.
Their original bout remains one of MMA’s most historical moments. It was at PRIDE 10 in 2000, in front of 35,000 fans that Sakuraba and Renzo faced each other as two of the top fighters of the day.
In the waning moments of a 2-round, 20-minute match, Renzo was able slip through Sakuraba’s legs from behind, almost get a single, and take the back. Sakuraba worked for the kimura, got it, spun out, and once on the ground he called for the ref to look at Renzo’s now dislocated elbow.
Fourteen years after the two legends faced off in PRIDE, they met in California on November 22 for the main event at Metamoris 5. As the opening minutes waxed on, the match indeed looked like a replay of times gone by, with patient take down attempts and Renzo finally securing the guard.
After the halfway point – reminiscent of round one so long ago – things began to change. Renzo finally opened, Sakuraba went for a guillotine and cradle, and Renzo popped out, and stacked him into side contra. From there it was then to north/south, and back again, hunting for a retributtal arm. Renzo wasn’t to get it, with Sakuraba’s patient defense even in the worst of positions.
In the final moments, Sakuraba saw a hole, blasted out and was able to recover half guard, and even looked for a kimura. And it was there that the two legends saw the clock run out.
The fitting finale outcome ended in a Draw, as did all but the opening match on the fifth Metamoris card. Renzo and Saku, no longer in their prime but true masters of combat grappling, testified after the match. Sakuraba said of his old foe, “Renzo is great. I tried to do my best!” Renzo even admitted his lifestyle, “It’s been three years without a push up, but here I am after three months of training.”