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PRIDE FC NEVER DIES!! Looking Back At A Decade That May Never Be Surpassed

Well what can I say? BE EXCITED. There is a ton of media coverage over this Saturday’s UFC 144 Japan show, and numerous MMA commentators and experts have already weighed in on the UFC’s return to Japan and the looming nostalgia of the Pride Fighting Championships. AMAZING VIDEOS AFTER THE JUMP

So at the end of this article you will find numerous links to the most thought provoking articles that attempt to unveil the overwhelming appreciation and fond memories of the Pride days. The production value and the format of those events were nothing like that of the UFC, and I dare say that there was magic in the atmosphere during those events housing 55,000 plus spectators. The fights were all exciting, barely ever going to a decision, bad judging calls were few and far between, “point fighters” did not exist (nor could they due to fighting in a small ring instead of a cage three times the size), and there was no “lay and pray” wrestlers trapping opponents against a cage.

Pride FC truly emphasized the “art” in mixed martial arts as each fighter looked to finish every fight in an entertaining fashion. Furthermore, the most well educated audience in the world, the Japanese, sat quietly in their seats during each fight (as if they were in watching golf) allowing fighters to hear their corner men shout out instructions. Strategic fights certainly took place, but not in the sense that camps would “game plan” to not engage and run from bob in and out of the pocket from their opponent (aka run from them). Today fighters rather hope to win a lackluster judges decision, but this brings about controversy since judges in the U.S. do not know a thing about the sport.

The rules also made more sense; taking damage done to opponent and ring control into account for the few and far between fights that went the distance. Indeed, the fights were also more dangerous, allowing knees and kicks to a downed opponent. These additional rules increased the pace of the fight and allowed fighters more tools at their disposal to finish the fight. It is worthy to note that there was NEVER a death or life-threatening injury as a result of these rules which mirror how real (unsanctioned) fights would actually play out.

If you want to view a recent UFC fight that brings to light all these problems that are ruining the sport (and will no doubt hinder it’s growth and legitimacy) then look no further than the UFC 143 Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit fight. It is quite the disappointment and frustrating to watch. It nowhere compares to the epic striking battles such as Shogun Rua vs. Rogério Nogueira at Pride Critical Countdown 2005, or unbelievable grappling matches such as Josh Barnett vs. Rodrigo Nogueira during the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix Semifinal. On that note, I will not even get started on how the Grand Prix tournament format needs to get implemented into the UFC (this article would turn into an anthology.) However, I doubt it would work seeing as how the majority of fighters over-train these days and then try to right their wrongs by using steroids (ohh wait I meant supplements form GNC.)

Mind you, this will be an amazing UFC card! Without a doubt it is the most stacked card all year. It promises to match or even outperform the event a few months ago where we saw glimpses of the old Pride days when Shogun Rua faced Dan Henderson, and retro Wanderlei Silva demolished Cung Le. It felt like being in a time machine watching that event, and I pray that hardcore fans will feel that nostalgia once again this Saturday at UFC 144 Japan! Dana White has said that they will not be altering their broadcast to emulate the Pride shows. This is not a surprise and any businessman would not blame them for trying to push forward with their own brand. Yet, I fear that the UFC will fall short to captivate the Japanese audience in the long-term without acknowledging the countries storied past (they gave birth to mixed martial arts!) and Bushido/samurai fighting spirit. The UFC and their management are quite aggressive, some might even say abrasive. Many Japanese believe they “killed Pride,” so this is going to be an uphill battle when utilizing an over-sized cage (they should at least make it smaller!) and bolstering their rosters with a bunch of redneck wrestlers.

Yes, I do love the UFC and MMA and I want this sport to grow as much as possible. However, they could dearly pay for these growing pains if they do not pay homage to the traditions of the Japanese martial arts.

Check out these two videos. They are easily the best example of the glory of Pride FC

Check out this fascinating look into Rampage Jackson’s life and perspective on this UFC Japan event


Check out this interview of the former Pride commentators and how they feel of UFC venturing into Japan


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3 Comments on “PRIDE FC NEVER DIES!! Looking Back At A Decade That May Never Be Surpassed”

  1. sportzbuzz February 24, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Reblogged this on sportzbuzz and commented:
    Japan is an awesome venue, love betting on these fights it is exciting! http://tinyurl.com/6qs2xgm

  2. jumpingpolarbear February 24, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    The tournaments. The 10 minute first rounds. Fedor, Nog, Wanderlei, Cro Cop, Sakuraba and the rest of the bunch. That era will live forever. Can’t wait for the UFC show tomorrow though :).

  3. Luke Foster February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Hopefully the show tomorrow night is a success, I’d love to see the UFC make an annual appearance to Japan.

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