September 27, 2006

by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com (Contributions by KAMIPROHAND)
Former PRIDE star Kazushi Sakuraba announced at a press conference today that he will not be participating in the K-1 Hero’s show on October 9th. The Japanese star was scheduled to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at the 2nd round of the 187-pound tournament.

Although Sakuraba was victorious after an impressive comeback against Kestutis Smirnovas at K-1 Hero’s 6, it was speculated that the “Gracie Hunter” suffered brain damage. An MRI revealed that Sakuraba suffered no brain damage and would be allowed to compete.

Recently, there were many reports of Sakuraba experiencing dizziness and vomiting during a training session. Sakuraba collapsed and was immediately taken to a hospital.

At the press conference, Sakuraba explained that his recent illness was due to past damage to areas of his neck. The damage prevented blood from properly circulating to the base of his brain. Sakuraba expressed his interest to compete at K-1’s New Year’s Eve show once he is fully recovered.

At this moment, no replacement has been announced for Sakuraba.

(KAMIPROHAND contributed to this article.)