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Quintet 1: Sakuraba’s 5-on-5 team grappling event set to feature Josh Barnett, other MMA stars

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Kazushi Sakuraba’s team survival grappling promotion will have several big names from MMA and BJJ joining.

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Kazushi Sakuraba is one of many names linked to Quintet 1
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

As competitive grappling continues to expand into a professional sport, organizations are working to develop original themes, rules and matchups to attract attention. Rabarland Inc. is joining the conversation as it’s announced a new league featuring some big names in combat sports and adding the new wrinkle of grappling team survival matches.

Going by the name Quintet, this new promotion is set to debut team grappling with submission-only rules. Teams will consist of five competitors and their total weight must not exceed 430 kilograms (948 pounds). Matches are ten minutes long. If neither team is victorious after all five bouts, then both teams get to select one competitor for an additional match to determine the winner.

“Thanks to our sponsors and everyone involved,” said MMA legend, Kazushi Sakuraba via a press release. “I would like to contribute to the combat sports world by holding these grappling events, and help nurture and encourage amateur fighters around the world.”

Sakuraba, who is heading the promotion, will also be one of many prominent names mentioned to be a competing. The Haleo Dream Team features Sakuraba, former UFC champion, Josh Barnett, Marcos Souza, Daisuke Nakamura and Hideo Tokoro. The Polaris team features athletes that have competed under their banner including Dan Strauss, Craig Jones, Gregor Gracie, Charles Negromonte and one individual to be named. Teams representing Sambo and Judo will also be featured with top competitors in those disciplines such as Satoshi Ishii and Marius Zaromskis.

“We are planning 3 events this year, the first in Japan and then England and then America where grappling competitions are popular these days,” Sakuraba said. “The rules are being adopted to not restrict grappling arts fighters from the likes of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling and Sambo.”

Quintet 1 is scheduled for April 11 from the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall.