Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about who is the best pound for pound in MMA. Since Fedor Emiliaenko’s big fade, the talk generally centers around UFC champs Anderson Silva and Georges St Pierre.
There was the reign of Fedor. Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, BJ Penn, these guys may all have been the top pound for pound fighter in the world at one time or another.
But since November 12th, 1993, the date of the first UFC, who was the first to be acknowledged as pound for pound king? Maybe it was Royce Gracie, though he left the UFC with a lot of people wanting to see more. Maybe it was Don Frye or Mark Coleman, though both were incomplete in their skill packages, and could be categorized more as tough than precise.
Here is a video of my choice, the first guy the hardcore fans and insiders in MMA started talking about as the best, in any weight class. It is SHOOTO’s Rumina Sato.
What you just saw is the whole fight. Alan Fried was a world class wrestler, from Mark Coleman’s Hammer House, and he was absolutely embarrassed by the skill of Sato, so much so that he never fought again.
And the early parts of Sato’s career were filled with performances that were just jaw dropping. He had the speed, the precision, the charisma, Sato had it all. He understood the showmanship was important, in a way that Anderson Silva, Frankie Edgar and today’s crop of top guys just dont get.
Are you not tired of hearing ‘I respect my opponent, I like to do my talking in the fight’? What are you guys, afraid to back up your talk with some skill? Come on, you guys are good, let’s show some personality.
I remember Sato being asked about Fried in an interview, and he said ‘Alan Fried’ then he spent the next 30 seconds laughing.
Sure, once his precision and speed waned with age, Sato was beaten, and in fact he is still fighting and has tarnished his legacy a bit. But make no mistake, this guy was a superstar, and if you havent seen him, its worth a few hours on Youtube to look him up. You wont be dissappointed.