THE SINGLE GREATEST MMA SHOW EVER!!!!!(WARNING: REVIEW CONT
MMA Fan | Los Angeles, CA | 05/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has been a turbulent time for the world of MMA recently. 2007 has been a year of extreme highs and lows for the greatest one on one sport on the planet. The biggest tragedy has been the fall of PRIDE Fighting Championships, arguably the worlds premier Mixed Martial Arts event for several years running. Having since been purchased by the UFC, PRIDE has made no moves to follow up with a fight card, with many of their best fighters coming to the UFC. As of this review, the UFC is FINALLY starting to put together some worthwhile fightcards, but for many years the UFC was notorious for putting together abysmal cards and charging an arm and a leg for them. PRIDE on the other hand was the MMA fans dream come true. Responsible for some of the greatest shows in history, Bushido 9: The Tournament eclipses them all and will likely never be equaled in professional sports. Nevertheless this show is PRIDE fighting championships at it's very best and ALL of the fighters come ready this night. This show contains TWO eight man tournaments in the 160lb and 183lb. weightclass involving some of the worlds most elite fighters. Needless to say there was something in the air that night because all who saw it, live or on television witnessed something special. The following is a fight by fight review of the matches that CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! Before you read on, you should need NO OTHER convincing. If you've EVER been even remotely interested in Mixed Martial Arts or combat sports you MUST have this DVD, period! Not only does it contain a large number of fights, the lightweight tournament will BLOW YOU AWAY!!! Onto the fights do not read if you don't want spoilers:
Eight world class welterweights gathered to see who would meet in the finals at Shockwave 2005 and become PRIDE FC's first welterweight champ. This is a fine tournament on it's own but the very fact that it's included in the same DVD with the lightweight tournament is unreal!
Dan Handerson vs Ryo Chonan (8/10) - Short but sweet. Henderson is one of the heavy favorites of the tournament as he has more experience than most of the fighters and has fought the best fighters in the world in other weight classes.
Akihiro Gono vs. Daniel Acacio (8/10) - Not a bad match at all. Mostly standup between a suprisingly talented Japanese star and the Chute Boxe acadamy's representative. Some fine boxing is shown by the Japanese in this entertaining stand up battle. Would be an excellent fight on any other night but we've only just begun!
Phil Baroni vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (6/10) - The only stinker of the night which really isn't that bad. A rematch of their classic slugfest from Bushido 7. One fighter does a lot of laying and praying for the win in this one.
Murilo Bustamante vs. Masanori Suda (8/10) - Bustamante has to be the other favorite as he is a very experienced fighter and a former UFC champ. Suda is really in over his head and we some some fine jiu-jitsu skills from "the Professor."
Paulo Filho vs. Ryuta Sakurai (8/10) - No complaints here. Filho, who is now a top ranked fighter doesn't get to participate in the tournament but faces off with a suprisingly game Sakurai. Good fight that showcases the exceptional groundgame of the Brazilian.
Dan Henderson vs. Akihiro Gono (9/10) - Best fight of this tournament. Gono, whose been impressive, looks to be in over his head against the legendary Dan Henderson. What follows is a very actionpacked slugfest with a satisfying knockout! Can't ask for more...? Just wait until we get to the lightweights!
Murili Bustamante vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (8/10) - Minowa is another suprisingly talented Japanese fighter, but he's in over his head against the other tournament favorite Bustamante. Not suprisingly the Brazilian controls this one but we get too see him display some nice all around skills in this one. Too no suprise this sets up the two veterans to square off in what should be an awesome match at Shockwave 2005 for the title.
The Lightweight Tournament:
Holy @#$%! That is all I have to say about that! This is the MOST explosive tournament I have EVER seen. Eight of the best lightweights matchup in some unbelievable first round matchups that could be main events on any other night. The result from these guys is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!! I could go on and on, but I will just shut up and review the fights. Don't be suprised if you see the number "10" a lot in this tournament because just about every fight is a war!!!
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai vs. Jens "Little Evil" Pulver (9/10) - Oh yeah baby! What a great way to start it off. Two former champions who've got something to prove are going to go at it to show that they still have what it takes to be on top. Sakurai is a japanese legend who at one time was considered by many to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world. A former Shooto champion, Sakurai's star has fallen with some tough losses. Although still a game competitor, many did not think Sakurai had what it took to hang with the young lightweights. Could he prove them wrong? Jens Pulver. Former UFC champion. Perhaps at one time considered the king of the lightweights. Problems with the UFC divsion have sent him to PRIDE but he lost his first fight after a war with Takanori Gomi. Jens is a favorite, but he's been small for a lightweight. Does he have the power to tangle with this, the most elite group of fighters ever assembled? Onto the fight: Great stand up fight with a ton of energy. Sakurai is clearly rejuvinated and shows that it would be foolish to doubt him against any lightweight. Although Jens is game for this fight, Sakurai unleashes some sickening leg kicks and devastating counter punching. Jens gets in some good shots but in the end the power and well-roundedness of the Japanese legend prove to be too much. Sakurai shows that his career is far from finished and he clearly has what it takes to compete with the best of the young generation.
Joachim Hansen vs. Yves Edwards (10/10) Oh dear god if that first fight wasn't enough, the train really starts to get rolling on this one. Joachim Hansen, another former Shooto champion and a heavy favorite takes on the top UFC lightweight(at the time) in Yves Edwards. Both are unbelievably talented fighters with exciting styles and the match between these two does not dissapoint! In an awesome MMA war both fighters get in some great shots standing up and do some great groundwork. We see back and forth action and beautiful standup combinations from Edwards and powerful strikes from Hansen. Beautiful MMA fight, would be the fight of the night on ANY other fight card. In the end the former Shooto champion's groundwork and power give him the edge as he sqeaks out a win over the very talented Edwards. The UFC representative has nothing at all to be ashamed of as he gave Hansen all he could handle in a classic match! Oh folks, it only gets better!
Takanori Gomi vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (10/10) - Takanori Gomi: currently ranked the number one lightweight fighter in the world. At the time undefeated in PRIDE FC and the man expected to win it all going into this tournament. Another former Shooto champion with great wrestling skills and unbelievable punching power, Gomi is a tough customer for anyone to deal with. The pressure is on as the press and fans think that Gomi is the man to take the PRIDE FC lightweight division to the next level. In his way was the current Shooto champion and fast rising star in Tatsuya Kawajiri. An excellent grappler with powerful strikes himself, Kawajiri was considered at this time to be the second best lightweight in japan so essentially this matchup was between number one and number two in the country and it happened in the FIRST round! What was going to happen!? Fireworks that's what! Both fighters have an intense rivalry and Kawajiri desperately wanted to prove he was better than Gomi. In a fight that makes me shake my head at how hard two lightweights can punch we see it all. Great performance by both guys, but in the end, Gomi proves he is clearly the superior fighter. His quickness and punching power prove to be too much for the very game Kawajiri. We get an exciting war that ends convincingly as one fighter proves his dominance to move onto the next round.
Luis Azeredo vs. Naoyuki Kotani (8/10) - Luis Azeredo is the Chute Boxe academy's lightweight representative. He is one of the most exciting fighters you'll ever see with jump kicks, spin kicks, and a whole arsenal of strikes that come right out of a movie. To top it off, he really is a talented and serious figther who is looking for revenge on Takanori Gomi. Gomi and Azeredo had a classic match at Bushido 7, which saw Gomi nearly defeated, but coming back with a dramatic KO and losing his temper by pounding Azeredi after the match was over. Azeredo wanted revenge and wanted to show that he belonged with the worlds best lightweights. The official "darkhorse" of the tournament. I'm not quite sure who Naoyuki Kotani is but it's very evident right off the bat that he does not belong on the ring with Azeredo. This fight ends quickly and violently as Azeredo moves on to the next round, after a very easy match.
Dokonjonsuke Mishima vs. Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett (8/10) - Two showman with completely different styles. Bennett is a street brawler with incredible athleticism and suprisingly fast hands. Mishima is a veteran of Shooto who despite his appearance, is quite an accomplished fighter. When they meet we get a very entertaining match that ends in a spectacular submission.
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai vs. Joachim Hansen (10/10) - Sakurai proved he still had what it took after dismantling the former UFC champ with brutal kicks and punches, but could he handle the heavily favored Joachim Hansen? Hansen had already been in a war with Edwards, but was more than ready to go to war again with Sakurai. Ladies and gents this is the FIGHT OF THE NIGHT! Beautiful MMA match. This one has it all. It is back and forth with great striking, submission attempts. and everything in between. An absolute classic between two legendary fighters. This one is unbeleivably close but Hansen just isn't quite able to equal the damage that Sakurai does to him. Fine showing from both athletes, but perhaps to the suprise of many, the Japanese veteran Hayato "Mach" Sakurai finds himself in the finals proving that he is in no way, shape, or form finished and may yet be just starting a new chapter in his already thrilling career.
Takanori Gomi vs. Luiz Azeredo (10/10) - Dear god what a way to end the night! A revenge match! Gomi/Azeredo I was a classic...could this one live up to the hype? More importantly, could Gomi defeat a fresh Azeredo after having gone through a tough first round match, especially when the Brazilian wanted his blood? Yet ANOTHER all out war insues. Both guys lay it all on the line and beat the hell out of each other. This one has all the excitement of their first match! Ferocious punches from Gomi and acrobatic kicks and knees from the Chute Boxe fighter. Both men are lingering at the brink of exhaustion when this one ends and the Japanese star earns himself a spot in the finals. Gomi had done it! He was favored to get there and had a tough path, but he made it. Awaiting him on New Years eve, would be an opponent he might not have expected. His former friend and mentor, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. Talk about a hollywood movie script! Azeredo is battered and bruised at the end of this one, but the man has little to be ashamed of. He proved without a doubt that in addition to being one of the most exciting fighters in the world, he truely belonged in the elite class. Don't be suprised to see the Brazilian make another run again. He just might have another classic match with his nemesis Takanori Gomi.
And that about does it folks. It's one hell of a night of Mixed Martial Arts action that couldn't have been scripted any better. Enough reading now if you're still with me! Go out and by it! It's worth every penny!"