October 21stLas Vegas, NVSaturday night was a historical day in MMA fighting as Pride FC came to America for the first time. Pride brought many of its top fighters to make this historic moment one to remember. One of the things I noticed right off was the grandeur of the show put on by Dreamstage Entertainment. Also the fact that there are no under cards, the people watching on Pay-per view get to see every fight that the people see live at the fight.
Although one of Prides top fighters Wanderlei Silva was not fighting in this show, he did come out during the intermission to openly challenge Chuck Liddell. This is fight many fans have looked forward to and hopefully in February fans will be treated to this match up. Whether in Pride or UFC it will definitely be a great fight to watch.
In the first fight of the evening Robbie Lawler fought Joey Villasenor.
In this fight Robbie, who recently lost to Mayhem Miller was looking to recapture his dominance in the sport while Villasenor was looking to improve on his record and step up his fighting from his King of the Cage days.
In the first round Lawler throws a roundhouse to Villasenor’s head. Lawler then lands a flying knee to Villasenor’s head which drops his opponent. Lawler immediately jumps on top and throws a couple of punches before the referee steps in and stops the match. Lawler wins the first ever Pride FC fight in America in only 22 seconds in the first round.
In the second fight Kazuhiro Nakamura fought Travis Galbraith
Nakamura is a well known fighter out of Japan and Galbraith hails from Canada.
Round 1Both fighters throw a few punches and Galbraith lands a low kick to Nakamura. The fight is stopped for the moment, a few seconds later Nakamura is able to continue. Nakamura catches Galbraith with a punch and knocks him down. Nakamura goes for the ground and pound but Galbraith tries an arm bar. Galbraith misses the arm bar but then almost pulls off a knee bar. Galbraith ends up in Nakamura’s guard. Nakamura sweeps Galbraith then both fighters end up on their feet. Nakamura uses a nice Judo throw to end the round.
Round 2Both fighters lock up in the ring. Nakamura does a double leg take down and tries to work a guillotine choke. Unable to finish the choke Nakamura stands back up and steps back to let Galbraith back to his feet. Nakamura lands a knee to the body of Galbraith sending him to the mat. Galbraith rolls over into the turtle position and Nakamura lands many short quick punches to the side of Galbraith’s head. The referee stops the fight at 1:16 of the second round.
In the third fight Yosuke Nishijima fought Phil Baroni
Phil Baroni made his usual flamboyant entrance with his sunglasses and robe while Nishijima is escorted by Akira Shoji (Pride and King of the Cage fighter).
In the first round Nishijima throws a right cross and Baroni times it perfectly with a double leg take down. Baroni tries to work for the arm lock but can not secure it. Baroni must have seen Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn fight, as Baroni moves to the crucifix position and secures Nishijima’s arm. Baroni lands a few punches to Nishijima’s head then tries to work the Kimura. Nishijima refuses to tap but when Baroni is able to put his leg over the head to Nishijima to finish the hold, Nishijima taps to avoid having his arm broken. Baroni wins by tap out at 3:20 of the fist round.
In the fourth fight Vitor Belfort fought Dan Henderson
In this fight Vitor was looking to recapture his reputation of being one of the top fighters in the world, while Henderson was showing everyone why he is Pride middle weight champion. This is the only fight of the night to go the distance.
Round 1 Henderson takes Belfort to the ground. Henderson is in Belfort’s half guard and tries to work a guillotine choke. Belfort is able to sweep Henderson but ends up in Henderson’s guard. Belfort goes for a leg lock but misses and both fighters end up on their feet again. Both fighters exchange punches in the ring before Henderson takes Belfort to the ground. Henderson again tries the guillotine but is unable to secure it.
Round 2Both fighters make their way against the ropes. Belfort uses a jumping guard and Henderson slams Belfort on his back. Henderson then starts his ground and pound fighting. Henderson tries a few leg kicks while Belfort is on his back. Both fighters stand back up and Henderson takes Belfort to the ground again. The round ends with both fighters on the ground.
Round 3Both fighters exchange punches with Henderson getting the better end of it. Henderson takes Belfort down and lands several punches. Belfort sweeps Henderson and takes side control position. Henderson reverses the position and gets side control over Belfort. Belfort reverses the position to get top control on Henderson before the bell ends the round. Henderson wins the fight by a unanimous decision.
In the fourth fight Eric Butterbean Esch fought Sean O’Hare
In this fight Butterbean has his usual confidence while O’Hare took the fight at last minute. O’Hare has a boxing and wrestling background.
In the first round O’Hare comes out with a kick to Butterbeans head. Butterbean lands a right punch which stuns O’Hare. O’Hare moves in with more punches then tries to lock up with Butterbean. Butterbean lands 4 or 5 short punches to the side of O’Hare’s head during the clinch which send O’Hare to the ground. The referee steps in and stops the fight at 29 seconds in the first round.
In the fifth fight Pawel Nastula fought Josh Barnett.
In this match up Nastula is known for his Judo skills and was looking to secure a name for himself in MMA fighting. Barnett who is a well known fighter in Pride is looking for a win after his loss to Cro-Cop in Pride’s finals a couple of months ago.
Round 1Nastula and Barnett lock up against the ropes. Nastula takes Barnett to the ground and got side control position. Nastula works for a Kimura and lands a few short punches. Barnett gets lucky as the referee restarts the fight due to lack of action. Nastula was able to control Barnett from the side control position and in my opinion working for a submission when the fight was restarted. Nastula takes Barnett to the ground again. Just as the bell rings Barnett rolls for a knee bar and sinks it. The knee bar may have injured Nastula.
Round 2Nastula’s leg appears to be ok. Barnett throws a knee and several punches while Nastula responds with several good punches and a take down. Barnett reverses the position and while on top turns and takes a toe hold on Nastula. Nastula taps to what is a picture perfect toe hold, at 3:04 of the second round.
In the sixth fight Mauricio Rua fought Kevin Randleman.
In this fight Randleman appeared to be very pumped up and ready to fight while Shogun appeared confident yet relaxed for the fight.
In the first round Randleman is so anxious to fight he is trying to start midway in the ring. Randleman crossed the ring and does a double leg take down on Shogun. Shogun spins around and immediately secures a heel hook. Randleman tries to roll out of it but can not. Shogun switches to a toe-hold and Randleman tries to defend the hold by straightening his foot. Randleman is in extreme pain and is arching his back. Randleman tries to spin around but Shogun switches to a knee bar then sinks it deeper by putting Randleman’s leg under Shogun’s arm. Randleman tries to take the pain but has to tap out (At 2:35) to one of the deepest knee bars I have ever seen in a cage fight.
In the final fight of the night mark Coleman fought Fedor Emelianenko in a non-title bout.Both fighters look focused as they entered the ring.
Round 1Coleman throws a jab and tries to take Fedor down. Fedor has excellent takedown defense as Coleman works a heel pick into a single leg takedown. Fedor lands punches to the side of Coleman’s head. After the fighter split up Fedor lands several good punches to Coleman’s face. Coleman continues to work a heel pick into a single leg take down. Fedor continues to punch Coleman in the face. The referee stops the fight to have Coleman’s left eye checked. The left eye appears to almost be closed from the punches. The doctor allows the fight to continue. Coleman appears to be fatigued.
Round 2Coleman again goes for the single leg takedown. Fedor has good defense but is eventually taken down. Fedor pulls guard then switches into a basic arm bar which Coleman taps out to.
In the worst part of the evening Coleman’s young daughters (Approximately 4 to 6 years old), run into the ring crying that their daddy was hurt. Pride kept saying that this is a family sport and to bring your children yet the last scene of Coleman’s children crying is something Pride could have done without. Over all the fights were excellent and it appears that the UFC has legitimate competition in the USA.
Submitted by:Kibun Inc.