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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PRIDE 33: The Second Coming Review

Welcome to the OC Times review of one of the greatest MMA shows i saw all time all my life! Seriously everybody MUST see this show, even if you are not a fan of MMA this show will convert you into a fan. So let's go.

The show begins and the first thing we see is the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV and it is EMPTY. This is such a shame for PRIDE FC, if they could only learn to promote properly in the US they may have done a lot better. However the mood is lightened when we see our commentary team and more importantly...the PRIDE ring girls~!

Next we go to the ring to hear Mr. Takada cut a promo which sounded like the combination of the Great Khali and a broken robot. He said PRIDE were happy to be back and enjoy the top class fights tonight. There was a lot more but i couldn't be bothered translating from Japenglish to English. We then went to an awesome video showing off some of the fighters on the show tonight. This was so cinematic and nice, if only UFC could do their fighter videos like this. Only problem was that the audio sounded like crap as if we were hearing what the people in the arena were hearing over the loud speakers.

Jason Ireland vs. Joachim Hansen
This is Ireland's first fight coming back from being hit and run over by a truck...Jesus Christ! Hansen is coming back from being humbled by Aoki at Shockwave 2006, remember the man in the rainbow coloured tights?

Round one started off with a quick flurry of punched and kicks followed by a good takedown by Ireland but Hansen got right back up. One of the funniest moments of the fights was when Ireland connected with a hard leg kick which made Hansen perform a 180 turn which was beautiful...only problem is this is not an ice skating contest. Then the ref called a halt to the action and i wondered to myself "What happened?". Turns out that Hansen's glove was undone, how disappointing. Straight after that Hansen took Ireland down and attempted to put a rear naked choke but failed. Round one belonged to Hansen but Ireland should have won for wearing shorts that had the following on the back "Kiss me, i'm Irish"

Round two was not too exciting apart from Hansen scoring some knees in the corner and when on the ground repeatedly going for the same submission over and over again. STOP, try going for another submission or punch him on the ground. Again, i thought Hansen got the round.

Round Three started off better with both fighters going for kicks and Ireland taking down Hansen. This was an error as just about straight away Hansen got a triangle choke and began to lay in the punches but this turned out to be boring Hansen as he then went to an armbar and held it and held it and held it. Eventually Ireland verbally submitted when he could take no more as you could see the pain on his face.

Was a good fight, Jason Ireland held his own in the fight but he was defeated by the better fighter in the end. Great opener.

Frank Trigg vs. Kazou Misaki

Not much to say about this fight, nothing much happened over the three rounds. The only highlights were one of the announcers talking about Frank Twigg and Mr. Twigg's T-shirt which said "Blackbelt in Bullshit!".

Trigg won by decision. Let's move on.

Travis Wiuff vs. James Lee

The beginning of the greatness! Immediately, Lee hit a huge left hand which rocked Wiuff then began with the knees taking him to the ground. Lee then scored a punch, put him in the camel clutch and HUMBLED Wiuff. Oh wait...it was a guillotine. Anyway Wiuff got HUMBLED by someone who took the fight on a week's notice. Well done James Lee.

Sokoudjou vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Sokoudjou is one scary motherfucker and he proved this by landing a left hook 23 seconds into round one that KTFO of Noguiera. HUGE upset but this was awesome to see, nothing much was happening then Sokoudjou hit this punch and put Noguiera in the land of nod where we was joined by a few more people later in the night. This was so freaking awesome 100 stars~!

Mac Danzig vs. Hayato Sakurai

When did PRIDE allow food products to fight? I mean Big Mac vs. Whopper would have sold more tickets...he's a man? Oh...never mind then. Hayato Sakurai made the following comment during his interview "I'm very excited to KO an American in America" which made the crowd laugh, i'm not sure if it was the horrible sentence structure or the fact that someone thought they could defeat an American. Frank Trigg who had just joined the announce booth after winning his fight came out with the following comment when asked about Mac Danzig who he trained: "He's good looking" This stimulated a lot of conversation about what Trigg meant which was great comedy as Trigg realised what he had said way too late.

Even Danzig's good looks could not save him as Sakurai owned Danzig the whole fight and in round one hit the spinning back fist~! which was awesome to see actually hit the opponent for once. Also he took Danzig to the ground with a judo hip toss and attempted an armbar at the end of the ground which was cool.

Round two began with Sakurai taking down Danzig for the 100th time but could do nothing with it. They both swapped punches with Sakurai landing a big left hand and then the kicks began. Within two leg kicks, Mac Danzig's leg was beginning to swell and he was slightly limping. Eventually Sakurai ended Danzig's misery with a right hand that KO'd him and ended the fight. Again, another great fight and the show at this point was destined for PPV of the year.

Sergey Kharitonov vs. Mike Russow

They showed footage of Kharitonov killing Semmy Schlit which made me think that Mr. Russow had as much chance as Vince Russo making me watch TNA any time soon. So the referee calls both fighters to the centre of the ring and we got our first STAREDOWN~! of the night.

The opening round began with Russow attempting a takedown but after failing just lands a right hand as consolation. Sergey now annoyed decides to throw a left kick but is caught by Russow who takes him down and tried to get a choke on Sergey but failed. At this point they're were loud USA chants which only seemed to serve as a motivator to Sergey as after again being taken down by Russow, he caught an arm and forced him to tap to an armbar.

There was a bit of controversy post fight with Russow complaining to the referee about something but we were not sure of what at first. It looked initially that Russow was saying that he did not tap out to Sergey's armbar but in the replay it clearly showed him tapping out so it could not have been that. Lon McEachern then made a point about Russow complaining about Sergey not releasing the armbar immediately after he tapped out as Sergey did hold the submission for about 1o seconds after he had tapped. This seemed to satisfy the Trigg and Barnett and they let the matter go. In my opinion, he did hold the armbar too long after Russow submitted.

Maurico Shogun Rua vs. Alistair Overeem

Overeem dominated in the opening couple of minutes grounding Rua and getting a few knees and punches in. He then caught him in the stand up with a sweet left hand that affected Rua for a bit. Overeem again took Rua to the ground but Rua then turned this into an armbar attmept which Overeem escaped from and both men got back to their feet. T

his is where the momentum begun to swing in Rua's favour. Rua took down Overeem but since soccer kicks are not allowed in the US (boo!) nothing much could really happen so Rua allowed Overeem to get up. Rua then landed a big right hand that floored Overeem and the end came. Rua from a standing positon threw a huge right hand down that caught Overeem on the chin and he was fucked. Rua won by KO and then cut a promo proclaiming his love for America.

Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi

HOLY SHIT! THIS WAS THE GREATEST MATCH I SAW ALL TIME ALL MY LIFE! These two men beat the fuck out of each other and i loved every single moment of this wonderful fight that stole the show. Gomi came out to Scary by The Mad Capsule Markets~! Round one began at a lightening quick pace with Gomi landing bombs from the outset. Gomi took Diaz to the ground and that did not stop the action as both fighters fought from their respective positions. Once Diaz got back to his feet, a slugfest on par with the famous Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama one occurred and i was in heaven but was ended when Gomi landed a BIG right that rocked Diaz to the ground and Gomi went after him. Diaz survived this onslaught but was beginning to look worse for ware.

Then the old Nick Diaz returned with the shitty punches. While Takanori Gomi was landing bomb after bomb on Diaz, all Diaz did was his little shitty punches that just seemed to touch Gomi and no more. But then something happenedwith one minute to go...Gomi ran out of gas as his hands were down by his sides and he was wobbling. THE CROWD WENT INSANE! Diaz began to drop some bombs of his own and Gomi looked weaker and weaker with each one that connected. Just as it looked like the fight would be halted by the referee, the bell saved Gomi and both fighters got a huge ovation from the crowd in attendance. This was one of the greatest opening rounds to any fight i have ever seen.

As Diaz came out for round two, the crowd were firmly behind Nick Diaz as was i but early on in the round, the ref called a time out to check on a cut on Diaz face. As we saw on the replay, the blood was running down Gomi's arm to it needed to be looked at. When the fight restarted, Gomi was obviously frustrated and began to attempt to get the fight stopped by every so often getting the referee's attention and asking him if he was done. After about 3 attempts to get the fight stopped for blood, Gomi took Diaz to the ground but Diaz reversed it into a triangle choke and submitted Gomi.

I never thought i would say this but NICK DIAZ, TODAY YOU ARE A MAN! It was obvious that Takanori Gomi had not trained much at all for this fight as he was gassed by the end of round one. I want to see a title match between these two men and i'm sure that Nick Diaz will HUMBLE Gomi just like he did tonight.

"ANDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD NOW IT'S TIME FOR OUR PRIDE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING" Thank you Lenne Hardt, you are so much better than Bruce Buffer. You know what show you are at and do not give me disturbing facts about yourself like....OH MY GOD! Lenne, why is Bruce Buffer in a maid's outfit? In fact, let's not go there.

PRIDE Middleweight Championship
Wanderlei Silva vs. Dan Henderson

"PRIDE will conquer UFC" Yes, Wanderlei Silva lives on Mars apparently. Dan Henderson has some cool entrance music and Kane like pyro which ruled.

Round one began with comedy as Henderson slipped on the ring and fell to the ground. I think it was the tape on his feet that did it. Once he got up, Henderson controlled the round with loads of punches and it was great to watch. I have never seen Silva dominated like this before in my time watching PRIDE and he did not seem like himself in this fight. Silva did get a late flurry of punches near the end of the round but this was Dan Henderson's round

Round two was more of the same with Silva trying to gain control of the fight but failing to rock Henderson. Near the end of the round, Silva got a big cut on the left side of his face thanks to Dan Henderson when on the ground laying in some BRUTAL shoulder shots around the temple area of Wanderlei. Once again, Dan Henderson won the round.

Round three began with Silva getting some form of control landing a few good punches but Henderson refused to go down and came back throwing a spinning back fist~! that once again connected. Two successful spinning back fists in one show! At this point, Wanderlei was in serious trouble and this was confirmed when Dan Henderson landed a very hard left hook and Wanderlei Silva, 6 year PRIDE Middleweight Champion fell to the ground KO'd.

DAN HENDERSON IS A DUAL CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was an awesome moment, Dan Henderson is the first person to hold two belts in two different weight classes and boy did he deserve this one. Wanderlei was lead out of the ring a defeated man while Henderson celebrated in the ring.

I do not have enough stars to give to this entire PPV, you MUST see it! Well done PRIDE FC!

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