Quebrada Pro Wrestling, Puroresu, & Mixed Martial Arts Reviews by Mike Lorefice

DSE PRIDE Fighting Championships 10
RETURN OF THE WARRIORS
PPV 9/6/00 taped 8/27/00 Saitama Seibu Dome (32,919)


Vanderlei Silva vs. Guy Mezger

I thought Guy's performance was overrated here. He didn't use his reach advantage all that much, and was only the aggressor in the early moments when Silva was clearly feeling him out. Silva wants to trade blows, as sooner or later he'll pummell you with a counter. Guy played right into his hands by worrying about power and the KO rather than using his advantage to put himself in a position where he'd win the decision or possibly could have gotten a knock out later if Silva made a mistake. Maybe the boring thing got to his head?

This was definitely an exciting fight. Aside from a very brief portion where Silva got on top of Guy and tried to flurry, but Guy was quickly up with a knee, it could have been a K-1 match. Although early on it looked like Guy was too tall for Silva's killer knees, Guy's big mistake was his willingness to clinch, which seemed to be brought on by fatigue. I haven't seen anything from Silva that makes me think he's all that dangerous from a distance, but he's awesome when fighting on the inside. Guy got a few good punches in, but it didn't take long for Silva to catch Guy with a right hook. Silva did a deliberate headbutt and Guy came back with a knee, but lost his balance and Silva put him away with 9 right hands in a row. Most everyone will enjoy this fight. 1R 3:45

Giant Ochiai vs. Ricco Rodriguez

Ochiai is a bizarre looking poorly conditioned fighter with wild hair. He looks like he'd weight less than 250 since he's not exactly muscular, but they list him as 6'1", 266. In any case, he's not supposed to be a Giant in the traditional sense, but does appear to be here more for his "character" and because they are lacking in natives than for his skill. He did try hard, but that was about the only positive in his performance. Rodriguez looks like someone who could be a real force at some point, but with an opponent so far out of his league, it's hard to put any stock in anything he did here. He dominated the whole fight, including body slamming Ochiai out of a front guillotine and passing his guard with ease. Rodriguez seemed pretty well rounded and went about business to get an easy win with a front choke (smother). 1R 6:04

Gilbert Yvel vs. Gary Goodridge

Yvel showed what makes him so dangerous and exciting, dropping Gary with a killer high kick on the first real offensive move of the match. The fight was actually about 30 seconds, but Gary was down for a lot longer than that after taking such a kick. Definitely one of the greatest KO's in this history of MMA. 1R 0:28

PRIDE GRAND PRIX 2000 Tournament Quarterfinals:
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Mark Kerr

Kerr was dominating early with ground and pound, and also did a couple of deadly knee lifts, but at some point I guess he totally blew up and Fujita started having his way with him. Fujita outwrestled Kerr in the second half and hit him with a lot of punches. The thing is Fujita is basically still nothing but a wrestler, so he squanders tons of opportunities and his strikes don't do much damage. From what I saw, I'd give the round to Fujita, but nothing he did made me think that they shouldn't have sent them out for another round. 1R

Mark Kerr vs. Borisov Igor

Borisov seems to have some skills, but he's not close to Kerr's level. Kerr took him down with ease. Borisov's guard was good, as the combination of keeping Kerr close and mobility kept Kerr from starting to ground and pound. However, Kerr just put his hands behind Borisov's neck and pulled up for the (neck lock) submission. If Kerr can start winning without just pinning his opponent down and using ground and pound, he may become unstoppable. 1R 2:06

Igor Vovchanchyn vs. Enson Inoue

Very good, brutal fight. The first 15 seconds were wild swings from both men. Virtually nothing hit, but Igor did get a nasty cut around his eye from a right hand before taking Enson down. The rest of the fight was ground and pound, but Igor had leverage and distance so his punches had a lot on them, and thus it wasn't the boring pawing we usually see. The other thing is that Enson was always working for submissions from the bottom, as usual. This has worked for Enson several times in the past, but today wasn't one of those days. Today, going for the submissions was his downfall because to do so, he was letting Igor have the leverage and distance, and thus this was the big reason he was knocked senseless. Enson wasn't going to win by just holding Igor close and hoping for a reversal or the end of the round though, so I don't feel his strategy was bad. It's just that Igor's body type makes it incredibly hard to submit him, but more importantly he recognizes and adjusts to all the attempts. For instance, really the only time that he'd get chest to chest with Enson on the mat was when Enson would be ready to bring his legs up to armbar Igor.

Enson seemed half out of it by the 5 minute mark, and it just got worse from there. He may have been hoping that Igor would burn himself out by being so active, which did happen, but by that time Enson was too dead to even maintain his guard. Enson just covered up once Igor passed, and Igor just unloaded. Enson was covered up not trying to do anything and praying for the bell. This definitely should have been stopped. It was a situation where Enson didn't want to give up, but was stuck in a position where he was getting knocked around constantly and he didn't have the energy or senses left to even attempt to improve his position. Enson couldn't even get up when the round ended, they had to pull him over to the corner and revive him. When Enson woke up enough, he said he wanted to continue. Luckily, they finally decided to put him out of his misery, but that also made all the punishment he took in the last two minutes for naught. 1R

Masaaki Satake vs. Kazunari Murakami

The announcers comments were really laughable here, claiming Murakami is a national hero and U.F.O. is a really famous Japanese wrestling organization. The announcing was better today from the sense of putting over the product and for enthusiasm, which is most of what the announcers are there for, but I prefered Bas & Maurice from the sense that they call it like they see it and don't feed you loads of bull like this. Like Satake's K-1 fights, this was the dullest fight that was shown (Belfort vs. Matsui was skipped), mainly due to all the clinching. Murakami was able to take Satake down once, but later Satake fell on top of him when he tried for the takedown and did pretty good damage with punches before the ref stopped it. The post match was totally pro wrestling with Naoya Ogawa getting into the ring, although there was no pushing or anything like that, but the fight itself didn't look the least bit questionable. 1R 6:58

Ken Wayne Shamrock vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

Shamrock came in lighter than in the past so he'd be faster, which makes him totally gassing out so quickly all the more puzzling unless you write it off to him being past his prime and too used to 3 minute wrestling matches. Fujita kept trying to shoot, but Ken was able to defend it every time. Shamrock bloodied Fujita's nose with a left hand after one failed shoot. The one time Fujita had Shamrock, he wasn't able to take Ken down because he Ken held the ropes for about 5 seconds, let them go momentarily, and then held on again for another 5 seconds. Finally, the ref gave Shamrock a yellow card. Fujita kept coming at Shamrock, but it was starting to look hopeless as he wasn't getting any closer to his first takedown, instead Ken was rocking him with punches. Fujita also nearly lost to a front guillotine ala the UFC 6 non circlefest Shamrock vs. Severn, but this is where Ken seemed to burn himself out. Ken finally released the hold because Fujita wasn't going to submit and thus it was taking more out of him to keep it on than it was worth. Still, Fujita was the one that looked more winded and Ken was the one that was still doing damage (with more punches). As Ken tired more, he would just stand around waiting for Fujita to try to shoot again. Of course, he'd been dominating the match by waiting for Fujita to shoot, so this wasn't a bad strategy or anything, it's just that he'd lost his bounce.

Fujita had done some damage throughout the fight with knees, but the one that really hurt Ken was the one to the balls. Shamrock didn't get/take enough time to recover from this and Fujita wasn't even warned. Anyway, most of the stamina Ken had left seemed to be robbed by this illegal tactic. Fujita was willing to trade punches now that Ken seemed to be more tired than he was. Suddenly Ken yelled to his corner to throw the towel in. Fujita backed Shamrock into the corner, and Ken asked his corner to throw the towel in until Pete Williams finally did. Aside from a few knees, Fujita really did nothing while Shamrock did a lot of damage with punches, a few knees, and one submission. I don't think Shamrock threw the fight, but I also wouldn't be shocked if that was the case. Shamrock looked fine after the match was over, which adds to the skepticism, but I think it's more than Shamrock just isn't that good anymore, and hasn't advanced past 1995. I liked the fight a lot, but it ending out of nowhere in this fashion took it down several notches in my book. 1R 6:42

Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Ryan Gracie

Gracie took Ishizawa down the first time he shot. Ishizawa did guillotine him on this, but it was totally ineffective. Gracie showed good patience here, sitting in it since it wasn't doing anything to him instead of pulling out right away like Ishizawa might expect. Actually, I think Ishizawa thought the guillotine was doing something. In any case, when Gracie decided it was time to get out, he got out on the first try, standing up and kneeing Ishizawa in the face. Ishizawa didn't like that, so he stood up as well, but Ryan flurried on him with Belfort fast punches for the ref stop. Ishizawa probably would have went down before the ref stopped it, but the corner seemed to hold him up. Gracie showed patience and explosiveness while Ishizawa showed that he's much better off in NJ rings. 1R 2:16

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie

You could see even before Renzo started kicking that Sakuraba had respect for his striking than he did not have for the other Gracie's he's faced. Gracie showed the respect was warranted by establishing his striking, particularly the low kick, early on. Still, Sakuraba wanted to make this a predominantly standup fight. Sakuraba avoided going to the mat when Gracie went into butt scoot mode, instead kicking Gracie in the thighs in between his usual fakes and mind games. For the most part though, Gracie was the agressor during this round, and that's the main reason I think he won it. The damage done was about equal, but Gracie was, with the exception of a long boring clinch where neither did anything, much more active, while Sakuraba landed the harder blows.

Sakuraba was more aggresive in round 2. Gracie couldn't take him down, and Sakuraba was kicking his thighs again when he was in the butt scoot. Sakuraba even tried a spinning savate when Gracie was in this position, but it didn't really work. Nothing happened when Sakuraba finally tried going down into Gracie's guard. Sakuraba eventually got up out of it and did one low kick. He seemed to be toying with Gracie, who was again in the butt scoot, here. After Gracie got up, Sakuraba finally tried for a takedown, but twice Gracie blocked it and gave Sakuraba a knee.

Sakuraba finally took Gracie down with a single leg with less than two minutes in round 2. It was pretty obvious that this was going OT unless someone got a submission before the end of the round. Sakuraba was standing sideways while Gracie was on his back, so Gracie got up and took Sakuraba's back with waistlock. I think this is what Sakuraba wanted him to do because he started working for the chickenwing armlock immediately. When he broke Gracie's clasp, he made an incredibly spectacular move, spinning around Gracie's back while holding his arm, which forced Gracie to flip onto his back to try to alleviate the pressure. Gracie's arm popped out of the socket at the elbow before he even hit the ground though, which was made worse by Sakuraba fully locking the chickenwing armlock in once he was on top on the ground. The way Gracie's arm was almost bent in the opposite direction of how it normally bends was scary. For whatever reason, Gracie never tapped, but the ref quickly stopped it once he saw what the arm looked like. Gracie then tapped to be a sportsman and show it was a good call. Unlike the other Gracie's, Renzo offered no excuses saying that Sakuraba was better than he was tonight and that he was "the Japanese version of the Gracie family." I'm not sure how one guy can be a version of the family, but anyway it's easy to respect a guy that fights and excellent fight and then can admit he lost to a better man, rather than what most of the rest of his family does... An excellent fight with an instant classic finish to cap off the best PRIDE to date. 2R 9:43


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