Monday, January 02, 2006

PRIDE Shockwave - Review

Wow, what a night of fights. Good action, great card. I wish they could have shown them all but 12 fights is a lot.

Bruceleeroy, the MMA version of the Schwam, ended up 10-2 on his predictions on this night of fighting.

Let me quick run through the fights they did not show on the PPV.

James Thompson over Giant Silva by TKO at 1:28 of the 1st round.

Charles "Krazyhorse" Bennett over Ken Kaneko by armbar sub at 4:14 of the 1st round.

Aleksander Emelianenko over Pawel Nastula by RNC at 8:45 of the 1st round.

Sanae Kukuta over Makoto Takimoto with a unanimous decision.

Kazuhiro Nakimura over Yuki Kondo by unanimous decision. (I missed this one)

And now for the night of fights.

They startd out the action with Fedor Emelianenko vs Zulu
Fedor landed his 1st punch and it was a big one, sending Zulu to the ground. Fedor jumped right in and landed some big blows just pummeling Zulu. After a few seconds Zulu managed to get to his feet only to be knocked down again. The second time Fedor jumped on Zulu he tapped. Fedor was just WAY to much for Zulu to handle.

Fedor Emelianenko over Zulu by tap due to strikes at :26 of the 1st round. Yes, that's 26 seconds!

Next we move on to Hidehiko Yoshida vs Naoya Ogawa.

These to have a prety long history with each other. This would be one of the grudge matches for the evening. This was actually the last fight of the night but things were re-ordered for the PPV here in the states. I typically don't like it when a couple of Judo guys get in there, sometimes they forget they can punch in MMA. These two went at each other during the 1st round in pretty boring fashion. Very tactical with not a lot of 'punching action'. I do like those kind of fights as they are interesting to watch but it can get to be like watching a football game taht ends 6-3, appreciate the defense but wake me up for the second game! As Ogawa, the bigger man, seemed to use his size and strength to control the match Yoshida was able to sink in a very nice armbar to end it.

Yoshida over Ogawa by Armbar submission at 6:04 of the 1st round.

Dan Henderson vs. Murillo Bustamante

Another grude match here. Henderson won the first meeting, after the fight Bustamante claimed it was an illegal headbutt missed by the ref that caused the damamge and ultimately lost the fight for him. He was out to prove that he could beat Henderson. The 1st round saw a few takedowns for Bustamante, 1 for Henderson. Bustamante wass on top for most of the round but didn't seem to push the action from the top like he should have. The stand up battle that should have favored Henderson was pretty even. The second round brought us a knock down by Henderson with a big punch and a follow up knee, they scrambled back to there feet where Henderson landed another knee and Bustamante pulled guard. I personally thought henderson won this fight but would be interested in hearing comments from people who thought Bustamante won. It was definately a close fight and I would have loved 1 more round. Both fighters were pretty tired.

Henderson over Bustamante by split decision.

Takanori Gomi VS. Hayato Sakurai

I was really looking forward to this. I love watching Gomi fight. He was the fan favorite for fighter of teh year by PRIDE viewers, and rightfully so, what a year of fights he's had. Sakurai is just a legend. Great fighter. Interesting twist in this fight is that these guys come from thesame Dojo. Gomi is in many ways a little brother to Sakurai. This would also be the 1st time a Japanese fighter would be crowned a PRIDE fighting Champion.

These two came to fight as everyone knew they would. Sakurai controlled the early action with big leg kicks to Gomi, he landed some good ones. As they came together and clinched Sakurai was able to get Gomi's head and take him down. They were a little close to the ropes so the throw could not take full effect, Gomi ultimately came out the back door and gained Sakurai's back. He got the hooks in and began to pummel. Sakurai rolled a couple of times while Gomi continued to land what seemed to be punches that would not cause a lot of damage. When Sakurai managed to escape, a very nice escape in my opinion, he was noticably stunned. Gomi jumped on him and went in for the kill. Gomi just hits to damn hard for someone who weighs 155-160. He's great to watch.

Gomi over Sakurai by KO at 3:56 of the 1st round.

Kazushi Sakaraba vs Ikuhiso Minowa

Another fight I was looking forward to. Sakaraba represents a lot of the old school of PRIDE where Minowa is the new generation. The crowd was pretty divided.

Sakaraba controlled the early action although it was back and forth. Pretty exciting fight with the technical aspect like the early judo fight but they were also mixing in punches keeping the action going. Sakaraba tried several times for a Kimura, his trade mark move. As they rolled and reversed each other the Kimura was finally landed by Sakaraba and just to deep for Minowa to escape. Minowa tried to hold out til the end of the round but his shoulder would have definately been destroyed by that time.

Sakaraba over Minowa by Kimura submission at 9:39 of the 1st round.

Mirko Crocop Filipovic vs Mark Hunt (the other one I predicted wrong)

The fight began with Crocop in control, he landed his trademark left kick to Hunt's head, thigh and mid section. I seemed as though Crocop would be able to land that at will and end the fightthe way we are used to seeing him end fights. Somebody forgot to tell Mark Hunt that those big leg kicks hurt like hell. He just seemed to walk right through the kicks as if he was being kicked by a kindergartener. If you've seen Crocop fight you've seen him KO people with those kicks, just 1 of those kicks. Hunt took many of them and didn't seem to mind much. After the 1st 3 minutes or so the tide began to change, Crocop seemed a little winded with throwing all those big kicks. And, no doubt frustrated that his big kicks didn't seem to slow down Hunt. Hunt began to control the action, continuing to move forward and chase Crocop around the ring. Round 2 saw Cropcop try and take control of the action again but only for a moment. Crocop landed a beautiful Axe kick that could have destroyed a small village, Hunt shook it off like it was nothing. Hunt then took control of the pace and chase Crocop around the ring. Round3 was more of the same, Crocop was able to land throughout the fight but nothing that seemed to phase Hunt. Hunt controlled the action, backed Crocop up and landed big punches of his own. I can only wonder why Crocop didn't try and take Hunt down early and often. Hunt, visibly frustrated with Crocop's backing up, rushed in with about 45 seconds left and Crocop got a takedown, but didn't have the time to do anything with it. An impressive performance from Hunt indeed. Someone shoudl check his head for cement!

Mark Hunt over Mirko Crocop by unanimous decision.

Ricardo Arona vs Wanderlei Silva

Big big fight with 2 guys who don't like each other. Wandy's only 205lb loss in 5 years comes from Arona. (Wandy lost to Mark Hunt last year in a bout with no weightlimit, Wandy was giving up about 40 pounds in that fight) Arona came out using his speed and got a quick takedown, Silva scrambled to his feet and returned the favor. Silva dontrolled about 7 minutes of the round from the top position. I also liked the fact that during his 'top time' his punches had bad intentions, Arona's 'top time' saw him landing pitty pat punches. Wandy also got 1 or 2 more takedowns in the 1st round. Arona was given a yellow card for stalling.

One note to remember, a difference between PRIDE scoring and UFC/Boxing scoring, the judges score points on who's trying to end the fight. This can be with submission attemps or punches. The pitty pat style does not usually go over well with the PRIDE judges.

In round 2 Arona controlled a little more of the action, scoring 1 or 2 more takedowns and keeping the 'top time' for the second round in his favor. Wandy was given a yellow card in the second round.

In the end I felt like Wandy won the fight. I would be interested in hearing from those who thoguth Arona won the fight. My gut tells me that if you thought Bustamante won the ealrier fight you thought Arona won this one, that may be the style you like and that is fine.

For me it breaks down like this......
here are some of the things the judges look for.

Takedowns - These were pretty even, Arona may have had 1 more.
Stand Up - Again, pretty even, I would give an edge to Wandy.
Ring control - I would give an edge to Wandy only because Arona used the counter which typically allows the other person to control the pace.
Yellow cards - 1 each.

This leaves 'trying to finish the fight'. Wandy definately was swinging to KO Arona. Arona has been called a wet blanket in the past, while I don't think he was doing the lay and pray he may have done in the past I do think he could have put some more mustard on those punches and beena litle more agressive to try and finish Wandy. I feel the same way about Bustamante.

Wanderlei Silva over Ricardo Arona by split decision.


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