What a Dream: Can Jason Miller Beat Down Kazushi Sakuraba at Dream 16?
Well, hello everybody! It's a new event for DREAM and a new set of matches.
But, I am only going to be focusing on a specific fight. I will be breaking down almost every aspect of the fight, from submissions to ground and pound, to the stand-up game. It's going to be broken down.
Anyway, enough of the chit-chat. Let's get on with the article!
Yes, without a doubt Sakuraba is the better of the two with submissions, despite Mayhem's great skill.
Saku is among the greatest of all time in the Japanese fighting circuit and most people don't even know who he is. Most in the States, that is.
Sakuraba is well known for his crazy submissions and 13 of his 19 wins have come via submission.
Also, you have to look at some of the people he has beaten with his sub skills.
Kevin Randleman, who probably outweighed Saku by about sixty pounds.
Renzo Gracie (along with every other Gracie to put on a Gi)
and Carlos Newton.
He has also beaten a few other big name fighters, by unanimous decision or TKO. Ken Shamrock comes to mind.
So, basically, Sakuraba wins in this category.
Wrestling/Overall Ground Game
Well, neither of these guys is what one would call Brock Lesnar in this department, but Mayhem is clearly the better.
I see his fights and see that his takedowns are generally more successful, and he is also great at keeping an opponent down on the ground.
And you also can't forget that because of his excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he is never that uncomfortable on his back.
Miller, despite not being as unbelievable with his BJJ as Sakuraba, but when you add in his wrestling ability and catch wrestling, he is arguably the better fighter on the ground.
Also, Not even the greatest BJJ practitioner in MMA today, "Jacare" Souza could make Mayhem tap out. If you watch his fight with Georges St. Pierre, you will see that the only thing he was trying to do was force Jason Miller to tap out.
Miller escaped even the deepest of arm bars and chokes, and it was ridiculously impressive.
Miller wins this section, to start.
Stand Up/ Ground-and-Pound
This is no contest.
Mayhem is a very skilled kickboxer and has great Muay Thai.
He is a fighter who loves to strike despite his love for the submission. Most of his wins are via submission, but if you watch his fights, he loves to hit people. He just does.
I feel that his love to hit and his love to submit is a perfect combination, leading to a number of different threats.
People don't take him seriously because he was on Bully Beatdown and most Americans have never seen him fight, as his only UFC fight was against Georges St. Pierre.
That is a misconception. He is actually a very skilled fighter and this has been shown throughout his career
Sakuraba has never been known for the knockout or ground and pound aspect of the game.
Mayhem wins this one easily.
This fight is going to come down to if or when the fight gets into Saku's hands.
IF Sakuraba can get Miller in a submission hold, will Miller be able to escape as easily as he did with St. Pierre?
If not, can he outlast the submission attempts to win the fight? We must not forget that when Miller fought St. Pierre, he had to cut nearly 40 pounds from his natural weight of about 210. There is a reason Miller fights at 185. He does not want the fatigue problems that come with 170. I feel that he could have beaten GSP if they fought at Miller's division.
Also, he nearly defeated Jake Shields via armbar, but there was only ten seconds left in the round. If he had ten more seconds, he would have won. Also, I still feel that was a bit of a questionable decision.
You may look at his rematch with Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza for proof of his skill. He was defeating current Strikeforce Middleweight champion until a soccer kick to Souza's head ended the match, by No Contest. It is an illegal move in the DREAM promotion.
But, what would have won him the fight in PRIDE F/C, wound up costing him the win in DREAM.
What I think is that Mayhem avoids the submission, he will undoubtedly win.
Saku is nowhere near as good as he used to be. He is 41 years old. Almost twice the age of a number of fighters in MMA.
You could also just look at their records. Jason Miller is 23-7, with a few questionable decision losses within. That is a decent record, while Sakuraba's record is 26-13, most of his losses coming via knockout.
Mayhem is also one of the best in the sport when it comes to cardio and just working his opponent to death.
I see this being exactly what will happen in this fight. Miller is great at getting otu of submissions and will just out-cardio Sakuraba.
If not coasting to an easy decision, which is not his style, it will be a (T)KO victory for Mayhem.
I have a feeling that he will get Saku on his stomach and just rain down punches from the Crucifix position, much like the Hughes/Gracie fight.
While Miller is not nearly as naturally powerful as Hughes, the fight will go down in much the same way.
Prediction: Jason "Mayhem" Miller via TKO 3:34 in the second round.
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