Earlier this week, Kazushi Sakuraba announced the four teams and first-round matchups for Quintet 3 on the MMA Junkie Radio show. The first Quintet on American soil, a mix of homegrown American and foreign grapplers will compete in a multi-day tournament kicking off with a match between UFC veteran Urijah Faber and Sakuraba himself.
Beginning in 2015, Quintet has hosted some of the most famous faces of international grappling in the world. Quintet 1 champions Team Polaris and current champions Team 10th Planet return to face Team Sakuraba and new competitors Team Alpha Male. Alongside the team matchups, special singles matches will pit Danaher wunderkind Nicky Ryan against Bellator bantamweight fighter Hideo Tokoro, and UFC legend Frank Mir against Judo Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii.
The original Quintet champion’s lineup remains unchanged save for one member. Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro joins veteran Polaris members Gregor Gracie, Daniel Strauss, Marcin Held, and Craig Jones. Jones comes to Quintet 3 off the heels of his Polaris match against Rousimar Palhares, a BJJ competitor with the mass and density seemingly equivalent to the entire 10th Planet team.
Speaking of; the returning champions make no changes to their lineup as they prepare for the tournament. Geovanny Martinez and brother Richie Martinez lead 10th Planet staples Amir Allam, PJ Barch, and Adam Sachnoff against the stacked competition. Their past experiences from the previous Quintet and consistent team members may give the team more leverage over their fellow competitors.
Sakuraba himself leads MMA legend and actual Viking Josh Barnett, brothers Marcos de Souza and Roberto Satoshi de Souza, and dual BJJ/Judo black belt Daisuke Nakamura in an effort to capture the first Quintet Championship for the founder’s team. Keeping the most of the members from Quintet 1, Sakuraba expressed the utmost confidence in his squad on the aforementioned radio interview.
Traditionally an MMA focused gym, Quintet 3 marks one of Team Alpha Male’s first forays into high-level grappling. Head coach and professional cleft chin Faber is joined by Kelly Anundsen, Mansher “Munch” Khera, Dustin Akbari, and Antoine Jaoude to represent the California gym.
Since announcing his retirement in December of 2016, Faber has focused on growing Team Alpha Male and coaching former UFC Bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. Urijah joined Sakuraba on the MMA Junkie Radio show, and called the prospect of facing the fellow UFC hall-of-famer on the mats “a dream come true.”
The tournament takes place October 5 in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets can be purchased here.