UFC Hall of Fame members Dan Henderson and Kazushi Sakuraba were slated to participate in a special rules grappling bout on Oct. 15 for RIZIN Fighting Federation. A neck injury has forced Henderson out of the event, but former UFC light heavyweight champion Frank Shamrock will now face the Japanese legend Fukuoka, Japan.
A fight with Sakuraba was something Shamrock wanted for years. When Shamrock won the UFC title in 1997 at UFC Japan, Sakuraba fought on the same fight card, winning the UFC Japan Ultimate Heavyweight Tournament.
While Shamrock solidified his place in UFC history by defending the belt four times, Sakuraba built his legacy in the PRIDE organization. Shamrock appeared on a PRIDE broadcast challenging Sakuraba. The fight nearly took place in 1999, but never came to fruition.
The two will finally meet at the Marine Messe Fukuoka. The grappling match will take place at 84 kg (185 pounds). The announcement was made on Friday during a press conference.
Shamrock retired from fighting in 2009 after losing to Nick Diaz in the Strikeforce promotion. Sakuraba last fought in 2015, but his last win came in 2009.