Pride Fighting Championship: Body Blow
Matt | NJ | 07/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"March 16, 2003
Yokohama Arena, Japan
This was, by far, one of the best Pride Fighting events I have ever seen. It is in fact one of the best mixed martial arts shows that has ever taken place. The matchups are outstanding and the performances delivered by the fighters are amazing. From beginning to end, this is a thrilling and historic event.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura:
Nogueira is much larger than Nakamura. Nakamura, however, scores with an early takedown of Nogueira. This fight becomes a very tactical battle, as Nakamura proves to be far tougher than expected. The fight gets slightly less interesting as it wears on, but it all ends with a submission for some final excitement in the battle.
Alex Steibling vs. Akira Shoji:
There is some intense action in the 1st round. Shoji drops Steibling - Steibling regains composure and takes over to dominate and win the round. In the 2nd round, Steibling stalks Shoji. After three great rounds of action, the fight ends in a shockingly incorrect decision. Great fight! Great drama!
Carlos Newton vs. Anderson Silva:
This was the earliest fight I'd seen Anderson Silva in. I was very excited to see him go up against a talented fighter like Carlos "The Ronin" Newton. Newton takes Silva down early and controls the flow of things on the ground. He doesn't necessarily do any damage to Silva, yet he dictates the pace somewhat. The referee stands them up and Silva is yellow-carded and penalized for inactivity. Perhaps someone took the term "inactivity" as an insult because the fight ends with a crushing strike within a second of being stood up. Silva dresses up like Michael Jackson after the fight and does a dance in the ring. He is entertaining on top of being an amazing talent in mixed martial arts.
Dan Henderson vs. Shungo Ohyama:
Henderson is coming off of a stirring performance in a loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He had gained even more fans and popularity due to that fight. Here, against Ohyama, Henderson lands some good shots right away. Ohyama makes a good fight of it, however. It ends in very exciting fashion. This is an outstanding bout.
Nino Schembri vs. Kazushi Sakuraba:
Sakuraba, with his huge celebrity status in Japan, entertains the crowd on the way toward the ring. Once inside the ring, he dominates what appears to be a terribly outclassed Nino Schembri. Three knees change all that and deliver one of the biggest upsets in all of Pride fighting. The crowd doesn't even know how to reach to what they see. More great drama in an already stellar night of fights.
Next up is the co-main event!
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Kevin "The Monster" Rendleman:
I was dying to see this fight... Both of these men fight with high intensity and skill. A bout between them would no doubt include some "fireworks". There is no animosity between them, yet they must face-off to determine who will go on to fight Wanderlei Silva. I was expecting a great fight, leaning toward Jackson in terms of ability to win the fight. He's just more entertaining that Randleman, in my opinion.
The fight turns out to be high energy indeed. It stalemates for a few minutes, as neither man is able to take the other man down. During the battle for positioning and a takedown, Jackson does land some very solid knees to the mid-section of Kevin Randleman. Not to give it all away, one man drops the other and attacks to finish it with ground and pound... Awesome ending to the fight! The winner then has a confrontation in the ring after calling out Wanderlei Silva. Silva charges the ring and pushes the now top contender, claiming the belt is HIS. This will be the next great Pride fight and I can't wait to see it.
The main event of the evening...
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Emelianenko Fedor:
This is a dream-fight for Pride fighting fans. You rarely get to see two fighters who are this good go at it. These are two true warriors of the finest ilk and they are about to do battle to see who will reign over the heavyweight division. I am a HUGE UFC fan, but I must admit that for HEAVYWEIGHT fighters, you have to look to Pride for the top talent in the world. There is a huge buildup to what should be a landmark heavyweight bout...
The fight goes to the ground and Fedor is able to employ his strong ground and pound to slowly batter Nogueira as we have never seen him be battered before. Nogueira continually makes submission attempts, constantly trying to position himself for the quick win, but Fedor is always able to pull out of danger with what appears to be minimal effort. Fedor appears, in this fight, to be a force unlike we have seen before in mixed martial arts. He lands a monster shot from the top position on the ground that causes some concern for Nogueira. Nogueira reverses the position... Fedor reverses it right back to his favor. It's back and forth at points, but largely one-sided overall. It goes to a unanimous decision.
This is an excellent Pride Fighting show. The DVD includes plenty of behind-the-scenes footage in a few featurettes. This is required viewing for fans of mixed martial arts. Truly awesome."
Make it four and a half stars...
death | USA | 08/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is worth buying for the Rampage/Randleman fight alone! It does not matter if you are a newby to the sport, or a hardcore fan... you need to have this event in your collection."