I'm a little upset with Direct TV. At the start of the program they were having technical difficulties and it ended up making me miss a couple of fights. The programming bounced around the fight card and I actually saw 2 fights twice. Since PRIDE is out of Japan it does not play live. Upon calling Direct TV I learned that my choices were to watch what they showed or have them cancel and refund. I was hoping that they would get to all the fights but they did not. I'm certainly not finished with them.
Fights I missed -
Josh Thompson over Daisuke Sugie in 2 min 30 sec of round 1 with a knee bar.
Marcus Aurelio over Jyutaro Nakao by decision.
Tatsuya Kawajiri over Luis Firminho by decision.
The fights I saw-
James Thompson over Henry "Sentoryu" Miller
Thompson might be the largest individual I've ever seen. He came into the ring looking bigger and meaner than ever. Sentoryo, who is also not a little person, never seemed to get going in the fight. I don't know that I'd get going looking across the ring at that monster either! They came out swinging and each got a take down and then lost it. Thompson had an armbar practically handed to him and missed it, his reaction was slow and he stumbled getting his other leg over. He was then able to KO Sentoryu when they got back to the feet. A basic 1,2 combination, Sentoryu was out on the 1 and Thompson's 2 was already on the way and just made sure the job was done.
Joachim Hansen over Masakazu Imanari
Imanari was giving up about 15 pounds in this one. He's only 145 fighting in the 160 weight class. He is a squirrly guy though, he tried a lot of take downs putting a lot of respect in Hansen's striking ability. A little over 3 minutes into the fight Imanari shot in low and to the left, with incredible reflex Hansen through a left knee that caught Imanari square and sent him to the mat for good. When that knee landed it was heard everywhere, Hansen's didn't even jump on his opponent like you often see in MMA. The second that knee landed Hansen turned around and walked to his corner.
Dennis Kang over Andrei Semenov
PRIDE's website actually shows this decision going for Semenov so I don't know if somehow Kang got disqualified, I've never seen that happen so I'd imagine that is a misprint. This was a good solid fight. Two men known for grappling standing up for almost the full 10 minutes of the 1st round. The second round did see some good grappling and both fighters had opportunities to showcase thier skills, in the end Kang was just to much. I thought he did dominate both the stand up battle and the groundwork.
Kazuki Okubo over Ryuichi Murata
Murata came out in a Gi which you don't see a whole lot of in the MMA world. He had 3 very nice technical throws that I'm sure scored him some points in the eyes of the judges. These two Judo players went toe to toe without a blow :) for quite some time. Sometimes when you get to Judo guys in there they forget they get to stike in MMA! Okubo was able to use Murata's Gi against him and land an armbar. Had Murata not been wearing a Gi the sweat would have more than likely helped him escape this particular armbar.
Ikuhisa Minowa over Kimo
I don't know what it is about Kimo, I think he's getting just a little to old. He's lost something. Minowa was able to defeat Kimo with an achilles lock at 3 minutes into the 1st round. Kimo is 41 now, that's pretty old for a fighter. Randy Cotoure has done a lot for proving that 40 year olds can still fight but he is in phenominal condition, the others don't train like he does.
Phil Baroni over Ryo Chonan
As much as I don't like Baroni he does seem to be doing very well after a couple of losses in the UFC. One sign of a great fighter as opposed to a good fighter is how they handle tough losses. Baroni has overcome his losses and is doing it in impressive fashion. The other side of that coin is that the UFC fighters have found out one thing when fighting Baroni, it's apparently a big secret so come really really close to the screen......HE HITS LIKE A FUCKING TRUCK, DON'T STAND IN FRONT OF HIM. In his 2 victories in PRIDE his opponents have tried to trade punches with Baroni. In a word, stupid! It's like they've never seen him fight, in his losses a plan was mapped out, Baroni doesn't do well on the ground and seems to gas out toward the end of the fight. Hopefully his next opponent will read this and not stand in front of him or he will be knocked out like the rest of them. Make Baroni beat you from his back, if he can then a new game plan will have to be formed but until then.....do not let this man hit you! He can definately back up that talk he talks.
Takanori Gomi over Jean Silva
This was an exciting fight, Gomi pretty much dominated the whole fight but Silva through some big spinning kicks that brought some action. Gomi's doing very well right now, I'd like to see him fight Eves Edwards again or maybe Joachim again. Joachim defeated Gomi a while back. Gomi controlled the action with takedowns, ground controll and strikes from the guard. He landed an armbar with 10 seconds left in the round but Silva did a good job of squirming around until he could be saved by the bell. He unfortunalely was not saved by the judges, they all saw it for Gomi like I did.