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Kazushi Sakuraba is an MMA legend whose recent forays in New Japan have been just about the best thing in the promotion aside from his tag partner Katsuyori Shibata. Saku and Shibata have been nearly unstoppable during their Laughter7 invasion run, but this weekend at NJPW’s stellar Invasion Attack PPV that game to a sudden, gruesome halt.
Saku earned a Pro Wrestling Purple Heart as he dislocated his elbow in his tag team match against Yuji Nagata and Hirooki Goto. The referee called for a stop almost immediately after even though, crazy as he is, it almost seemed like Sakuraba just wanted the ref to help him pop it back in.
It’s a shame since the match, and his recent run, had been so very good up until that point. Long time combat sports fans will see shades of the Shogun versus Mark Coleman at PRIDE 31 where a very similar arm injury happened during a seemingly routine tumble.
Here’s to a speedy recovery for Sakuraba, and to Shibata kicking in some domes, solo, for however long Saku’s out.