Pride: Final Conflict 2005 review
Kazuhiro Nakamura vs Igor Vovchanchyn
They keep pounding the fact that Naka has been training with Mark Hunt on his striking. All that goes out the window as he goes to the Lay and Pray for 15 minutes. Igor is gassed after the first round, but shows some stunning defense as every-time Naka goes for an arm, he defends. Dull fight as Nakamura takes the win, it never matters (spoilers) but Nakamura would have taken the place of a fighter who can’t continue tonight.
Kind of a slow fight, and Wanderlei’s lack of takedown defense tells the tale. Arona takes the fight to Wanderlei, and the outcome really isn’t in doubt, but he is unable to finish. The Yellow cards to come into play, as Wanderlei gets 2, and Arona gets 1. I have to think this was a disappointing fight, considering how dull the last fight was, and this one was just like it, only with more skill. Considering how devastating Wanderlei’s run has been to have his first loss in five years in this fashion is almost shocking.
Alistair Overeem vs Mauricio Rua
A fun fight, they jacked up the energy on this one. Overeem is on a 6 submission winning streak, all by guillotine choke. The end comes when he goes to make it 7, and Shogun is able to pull his head out, and is in perfect position for ground and pound, and Overeem is unable to get out from under him, and just gets beat on until the ref gives us our first stoppage.
Fabricio Werdum vs Roman Zentsov
Werdum is training with Cro-Cop, Zentsov is a member of Fedor’s Red Devil team. I love how the Russians still use the color Red after all these years.
Funny story where Werdum challenged his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend to a fight, and then got chocked unconsous with a triangle, Werdum then started training Ju-Ju. Awesome.
Bit of a slow fight on the ground, then Werdum just busts out the triangle/Armbar and gets the stoppage.
David Abbott vs Hidehiko Yoshida
Tank gets the takedown
Let me repeat
Tank gets the takedown
Sadly, he has no clue what to do, and just pushes Yoshida to the ropes. They restart in the middle, and Tank pushes Yoshida to the ropes again, this time Yoshida tries for a triangle, and the ref and the helpful men outside to thier best to help him secure it, but nogo, now we get the standup, and Tank gets a Yellow Card. Deservedly so. Tank actually gets the worst of the exchange, and this time when they go down, he gets caught in a RNC, and I wonder if he just wanted out. Tank should have been a STAR in Japan, almost like a MMA Stan Hansen, but somehow didn’t.
Fedor does an amazing job keeping Cro-Cop moving so he can’t set up any offense, one fun exchange actually has Fedor falling through the ropes! Cro-Cop does connect with a solid shot that cuts Fedor open, the commentary team panic a bit as Fedor’s only loss so far was due to a cut. I think if Fedor and Wandy both lose the same night, Japan might explode. Fedor does get a takedown, and he does some work on Cro-Cop to end the round.
Cro-Cop is a bit winded in the second round, and he just doesn’t have the pop that he normally does. Looks like he’s hurt- but is going to keep going, and Fedor has never been a one-hitter finisher type of guy. Fedor gets another takedown late in the room, and Cro-Cop tries to deflect damage from the bottom, but still gets beat up a bit.
Final Round and Cro-Cop is done, he’s slower than Fedor, who is just stalking away. He takes Cro-Cop down, and the ref for some reason stands them up and gives Cro-Cop a yellow card. They must have them on sale. Fedor takes a solid shot to the face, but thats Cro-Cop last effort and we end the fight with Fedor almost tossing him to the ground.
Fedor, somehow is busted up and looks worse than Cro-Cop. But Fedor retains in a classic. Its not the five-star monster showdown that he has the reputation of, but if you need heavyweights just fighting off of willpower, this is a fight to watch. Might be the high-water mark of Cro-Cops career. Had Cro-Cop had a better gas-tank, it might have been a different story. If you do watch this fight, look at Cro-Cop’s legs. Those are thicker than some people’s CHEST on this card. Then take a gander at those legs in the UFC. If you wonder why he dropped off in the UFC, there ya go. Still worth the price of admission.
Pride Grand Prix Championship
Ricardo Arona vs Shogun Rua
Arona is looking to beat 2 Brazilian Chute Boxe fighters back to back, and lets also keep in mind, Shogun in undefeated. But I mean heck, Wandy hasn’t lost in 5 years and the Champion, and Arona beat him, right?
Wrong. I hope Arona didn’t take this ass-whupping personally.
Shogun comes out, smacks Arona a few times, then Arona goes down, Rua tries the huge stomp, but thats blocked to a nutshot but he doesn’t show that it hurt, and the ref doesn’t stop it. Up and down and Rua tries another stomp, this time he barely missed Arona, but is in perfect position just to swing hammerfists on Arona and knock him out. You want to see a high level ass whupping? This is amazing. Then we almost the best takedown of the evening when team Chute Boxe gang-tackled Rua, and Wandy is proud as can be.
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