T Nation

All Things PRIDE

Great to see MMA talk picking up on this site, but a little too much UFC talk and not enough PRIDE for my liking. The aim of this thread is to right that balance …

  1. Tip for the OWGP?

Nog, as long as he can evade Cro Cop’s left leg in the final.

  1. Winner of Wandy v Chuck?

Wandy’s my fave fighter, but I’m gonna go with Chuck. Wand’s gonna have the toughest six months of his life. He just took out Fujita, next Cro Cop, and if he wins that big Nog or Barnett and then Fedor perhaps.

Honestly, I’m not confident of Wand v Chuck happening - it’s likely that one or both of them will be hurt bad before the fight even has a chance of eventuating. Babalu is no hack - he’ll take it right up to Liddell.

  1. Best PRIDE ever?

10 - Return of the Warriors.

  1. Will Fedor make it back to the level he was before the injury?

He’s unlikely to dominate like he did, but he’ll still be good enough to mix with Cro Cop, Nog, Coleman etc. He will retire as the greatest MMA fighter thus far, no matter what.

  1. Is Sakuraba’s contribution to MMA overrated?

Nope. The fact that Takada and DSE forced him to take fights even though badly injured for a couple of years might had dented his star a little - but he’s still the first guy to beat four Gracies at their own game.

And yeah, he got hammered by Silva but he went toe-to-toe with him, and didn’t try to shoot right from the start. That’s warrior spirit right there.

Rob

Sakuraba ain’t no slouch.

Hooray! I love Pride.

OWGP:
My heart is with Mirko in the OWGP. Brain says Nog. Barnett-Nog is going to be very interesting. I do not see it ending other than decision or Nog sub. Barnett has the wrestling advantage, Nog has a slight edge in stand up and submissions. Plus the man is bascially indestructible. If those murder punches from hell that Fedor hit him with didn’t knock him out Barnett has no fucking chance. Mirko will show just how far advanced K-1 level kickboxing is from Wandy’s muay thai. It will be war, and injuries may effect the next round, but I give it 70%-30% Mirko. Wandy’s been talking a lot of shit and Mirko needs a fire under his ass. I’d have to bet Nog by decision over Mirko in the finals. But WAR cro cop anyways.

Kharitonov vs Aleks E.

Holy shitballs, this is the first announced under card, along with Arona and Shogun supposed to make the card. Could be best Pride ever, IMO. These two are perfect for each other. Both coming off of hard losses, a lot of drama with them being former teammates and Fedor taking Alex with him to Red Devil because of some shady connections that Russian Top Team had that might have lead to Alek’s jail time. Segei doesn’t speak to either Emelianenko’s anymore. Similar fighting styles, both SUPERB boxers and average on the ground with good Sambo skills. This will be stand up war, and I encourage anyone who wants to see good boxing to tune in for this one. If Aleks doesn’t KO Segei in the first, Kharitonov will win on his superior gas tank. I give Aleks 60-40 odds, I just don’t know if Segei can be the same after that devastating shoulder injury.

Fedor soundly out struck Mirko with a broken hand. I don’t see how having it back to 100% will hurt his game. Assuming he gets a tune up to shake off the ring rust he will be back to his dominate self. Best chance of anyone to beat him: Barnett. Fedor had some trouble with over great grapplers like Arona, Coleman, and Randleman. Barnett is bigger and better at subs than all of them. Fedor has Nog mind fucked and Mirko will hop on his bicycle again. If Cro Cop takes a chance and plants his feet he could KO Fedor, he was about half a centimeter from doing so except he slipped because he was too afraid to set up.

  1. Tip for the OWGP?

My heart is with Silva and honestly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he won. He is fighting the best he ever has right now. Really though, this is too close for me to pick. I could see any 4 of these guys winning.

  1. Winner of Wandy v Chuck?

If it happens, and IF both guys are healthy than Silva wins this fight.

  1. Best PRIDE ever?

We haven’t seen it yet.

  1. Will Fedor make it back to the level he was before the injury?

I don’t understand why he can’t be just as good as he was before the injury. So my answer is yes, he will.

  1. Is Sakuraba’s contribution to MMA overrated?

Definitely not. Sakuraba is a great fighter who has gone against some of the best.

  1. Tip for the OWGP?

I’m going with Mirko because he is the one I want to see win…so far this year in fights that I’ve gone with the guy I wanted to win I’m about 2-8 so take that for what its worth

  1. Winner of Wandy v Chuck?

Wanderlei is approaching quite possibly the toughest four months ever in a single fighter’s career…this is one of those fights where I have to say I’ll believe its going to happen when I see it happen.

Either way, I think Wanderlei will be too tough for Chuck, though I do think Chuck benefits from fighting in the US under UFC rules. If Wanderlei comes in prepared for war, Chuck only stands a puncher’s chance.

  1. Best PRIDE ever?

I don’t know, hard for me to rank best ever…I have liked this year’s Grand Prix, but I’d have to say my favorite Pride fight is Fedor over Coleman, I remember watching it and wondering what Fedor was going to do when all of a sudden his hips are transitioning up…one of my favorite armbars ever.

  1. Will Fedor make it back to the level he was before the injury?

Who knows? Maybe the time off will be good and he’ll come back fresh and hungry…can’t really say…but since there hasn’t been any weaknesses in Fedor, I guess the one thing that might test him is coming back and battling ring rust an opponent who is on top of his game.

  1. Is Sakuraba’s contribution to MMA overrated?

I don’t know if the beating all those Gracie’s carries this mystique it once did after Royce’s last showing in the UFC, at least in the eyes of many fans. However, Sakuraba is a warrior who gave a lot to the sport…now if one of the thousand’s of internet rumors that he is going to battle Rickson at some point in the future came to fruition, that would be something entirely different. I won’t be holding my breath for that one though.

Agreed, the OWGP is too close to call - which is what makes it possibly the greatest MMA event in history. The fact that Silva can even mix it with the HWs shows his fighting class.

I think the Wand is more versatile and technically a better fighter than Chuck, but that Chuck is harder to beat - if that makes sense at all. Liddell just knows his game very well, even if it is simple; plus Wand might be susceptible to his quick hands.

I threw in the Sakuraba question because I don’t believe he gets enough credit outside Japan. Prior to him, (1) giving your back to a top grappler was considered suicide, (2) grapplers barely worked on improving their stand-up, and (3) the moment two grapplers went to the ground, you almost expected a 10-minute hugging contest. Sak may not be the greatest of all time, but he revolutionised the way MMA fights are fought.

  1. Tip for the OWGP?

This is very tough to call, but I would have to say Cro Cop, though Wand does stand a decent chance IMO.

  1. Winner of Wandy v Chuck?

I think Wand is the much more complete and skillful fighter, and that he’ll beat Liddel. If Chuck doesn’t get a lucky punch in, Wand will crush him. I’m pulling for Wandy as he has always been one of my favorite fighters.

Allowing for some rustiness, I think Fedor will be able to bounce back to the level of dominance he was at before.

  1. Is Sakuraba’s contribution to MMA overrated? Sakuraba is quite a fighter, and I think he deserves the respect he has.