Dan Henderson out, Frank Shamrock in against Kazushi Sakuraba

RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2017 Autumn: Aki no Jin will happen in Fukuoka, Japan at the Marine Messe Fukuoka on October 15th, 2017.

The previously announced grappling match between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson and Japanese MMA luminary Kazushi Sakuraba at RIZIN in Fukuoka has been put on ice.

At a press conference in Tokyo on September 29, RIZIN officials explained that Henderson is suffering from problems with his neck so he will not be ready to compete against “The Gracie Hunter” on October 15. As a result, Frank Shamrock has stepped in to replace the former double-division PRIDE FC champion.

The 44-year-old Shamrock is another legend of the sport and known for his memorable years of competition in Japan under the Pancrase banner. The former King of Pancrase possessed deadly leglocks and chokes during his heyday so it is very interesting to see how he will fair against Sakuraba.


Interestingly, DEEP lightweight champion Saturo Kitaoka and PRIDE veteran Renzo Gracie were considered but “The Legend” seemed to make the most sense.

The rules of the grappling match will be released in the near future.

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John Hyon Ko is an Asia-based combat sports journalist as well as the host and producer of Kumite Radio.