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Kazushi Sakuraba to face Dan Henderson in grappling match at October RIZIN event

Henderson and Sakuraba ham it up at Sunday’s RIZIN show in Saitama, Japan.
@KeithGalvin, Twitter

MMA legends Dan Henderson and Kazushi Sakuraba will finally face off, though we won’t see any “H-Bomb” right hands being thrown.

Instead, they will meet in a grappling rules contest scheduled for Oct. 15 at a RIZIN show in Fukuoka, Japan. The Henderson-Sakuraba exhibition match was announced during the RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2017 1st Round event in Saitama on Sunday, and Sakuraba later celebrated the booking with a shot of himself and Henderson on Instagram:

The quirky Sakuraba couldn’t help but have some fun with Henderson when the two met in the ring and shook hands during an intermission:

This is essentially a dream match for fans of these two warriors who rose to stardom in Japan’s famed PRIDE organization. Henderson held both the PRIDE welterweight and middleweight titles simultaneously before joining the UFC, while Sakuraba engaged in countless classic battles with member of the Gracie family and various opponents who typically dwarfed him in size.

Henderson retired from MMA last October after a failed bid to unseat UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Sakuraba has not fought since December 2015, but he recaptured the spotlight this past July with his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.

At 46 and 48 respectively, it appears that Henderson and Sakuraba are finding ways to still fuel their competitive fires without taking any excessive risks.

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