Sakuraba’s new Pride FC style grappling tournament

Kazushi Sakuraba’s debut grappling show takes place Wednesday night at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall.

Quintet is a team based event and teams will consist of five competitors. Each teams total weight must not exceed 430 kilograms (948 pounds) and the event will be fought in a survivor series format. It is a winner stays on format where one competitor could potentially beat the other team on his own . If neither team is victorious after all five bouts, then both teams get to select one competitor for an additional match to determine the winner. The team based event is an interesting set up that we have yet to see in grappling but is popular in professional wrestling.

Another interesting thing about this show is that the first show features a team of Polaris grapplers. While Polaris do not seem to be actively promoting the event, they are listed are as partner.There has been a number of new Jiu-Jitsu promotions in the last number of years,  however there has yet to be a strong collaborative effort. Quintet could be a trial run for such a collaboration that would potentially bring together the best grapplers in the world under one banner.

At the moment it seems that Sakuraba is looking to create a grappling version of Pride FC by having opponents compete across weight classes and styles with a good mixture of east vs western grapplers.

The Pride legend outlined the immediate plans for the new promtion recently: “We are planning 3 events this year, the first in Japan and then England and then America where grappling competitions are popular these days,” Sakuraba said. “The rules are being adopted to not restrict grappling arts fighters from the likes of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling and Sambo.”

Quintet can be streamed on UFC fightpass


Sakuraba has carefully crafted the ruleset over the last year or so with the help his friend  and fellow Pride veteran Josh Barnett. The rules are as follows:

  • 8 minute sub-only
  • Each team has 5 members
  • Winner fights next opponent
  • If there is a draw, both competitors eliminated.
  • The total weight of the team will not exceed 420 kilograms (926lbs)
  • If weight difference between challengers is over 20kg, the match will be 4 minutes only
  • No heel hooks, neck cranks, jumping closed guard, slamming/spiking.

Haleo Dream Team:

  • Kazushi Sakuraba
  • Josh Barnett
  • Daisuke Nakamura
  • Hideo Tokoro
  • Marcos Souza

Polaris Dream Team:

  • Gregor Gracie
  • Marcin Held
  • Craig Jones
  • Dan Strauss
  • Caol Uno

Sambo Dream Team

  • Teodoras Aukstuolis
  • Marius Zaromskis
  • Sergej Grecicho
  • Mindaugas Verzbickas
  • Viktor Tomasevic

Judo Dream Team

  • Satoshi Ishii
  • Dong Sik Yoon
  • Michihiro Omigawa
  • Hyung Ju Kim
  • Shutaro Debana

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