From Dream Stage Entertainment May 25, 2005 TOKYO , Japan Two non-tournament bouts have been announced for PRIDE FIGHTING'S next event, CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2005. In the first, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira of the Brazilian Top Team will take on Poland 's 1996 Judo Olympic gold-medallist, Pawel Nastula. In the second bout Russia 's Sergei Kharitonov takes on veteran heavyweight, Pedro The Rock Rizzo of Brazil .
From Dream Stage Entertainment May 25, 2005 TOKYO , Japan Two non-tournament bouts have been announced for PRIDE FIGHTINGS next event, CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2005. In the first, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira of the Brazilian Top Team will take on Poland s 1996 Judo Olympic gold-medallist, Pawel Nastula. In the second bout Russia s Sergei Kharitonov takes on veteran heavyweight, Pedro The Rock Rizzo of Brazil .
PRIDEs former heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira is a fighter who needs no introduction. A finalist in the 2004 heavyweight Grand Prix, Minotauro is the total package, coupling outstanding Jiu Jitsu skills with a solid boxing background. Nogueira has been in legendary matches with the likes of Bob Sapp, Fedor Emelianenko, Heath Herring, and Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic. His opponent will be the legendary Judoka, Pawel Nastula. The 1995 and 1997 Judo World Champion and 1996 gold medallist at the Olympic games in Atlanta , Nastula brings his legendary Judo skills to the PRIDE ring to compete against the worlds elite mixed martial artists.
In the second bout, Russia s Sergei Kharitonov will take on UFC veteran, Pedro The Rock Rizzo. Kharitonov is one of PRIDEs toughest heavyweights, boasting wins over Choi Mu Bae, Semmy Schilt, and Murilo Ninja Rua. Kharitonov reached the semi-finals of the 2004 heavyweight grand Prix. Pedro The Rock Rizzo will be making his PRIDE debut, but he is no stranger to mixed martial arts. This Brazilian striker trains under Marco Ruas and has career wins over Ricco Rodriguez, Tra Telligman, Andrei Arlovski, and Mark Coleman. Kharitonov versus Rizzo
which of these heavy-hitting strikers will be left standing?
In addition to these matches, there is the second round of the Grand Prix tournament. Defending tournament champion, Wanderlei Silva, reached the second round of the tournament after a hard-fought split decision victory over Hidehiko Yoshida. Yoshidas protégé, Kazuhiro Nakamura, considered an underdog by many in the first round, advanced by defeating American Kevin Randleman by unanimous decision. Japanese fighter, Kazushi Sakuraba, advanced via a thirty-eight second first round KO of Korean judoka Yoon Dong Sik. Ricardo Arona advanced after winning a unanimous decision over Dean Lister. Chute Boxes rising star, Mauricio Shogun Rua, reached the second round by knocking out 2003 tournament finalist, Quinton Rampage Jackson, in the first round. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of the Brazilian Top Team advanced by submitting Team Quests Dan Henderson via armbar. Igor Vovchanchyn advanced by winning a unanimous decision over Japanese Yuki Kondo. Golden Glory fighter Alistair Overeem advanced by submitting UFC tournament representative Vitor Belfort via guillotine.
PRIDE FIGHTINGS 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament spans three events
TOTAL ELIMINATION (opening round), CRITICAL COUNTDOWN (Second Round) and FINAL CONFLICT (Semi-Finals and Finals). The date for FINAL CONFLICT will be announced soon.
Wanderlei Silva ( Brazil ) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura ( Japan )
Kazushi Sakuraba ( Japan ) vs. Ricardo Arona ( Brazil )
Mauricio Shogun Rua ( Brazil ) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira ( Brazil )
Igor Vovchanchyn ( Ukraine ) vs. Alistair Overeem ( Holland )
Additional Matches (Non-Tournament):
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ( Brazil ) vs. Pawel Nastula ( Poland )
Sergei Kharitonov ( Russia ) vs. Pedro Rizzo ( Brazil )
Additional match ups to be announced soon.
CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2005 premieres on North American pay per view via iNDEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH NETWORK, UrbanXtra, TVN1, VU!, and Viewers Choice Canada on July 1 st at 10:00pm EST, 7:00pm PST (including a countdown show at 9:30pm EST, 6:30pm PST). For additional replay times, please contact your pay per view provider or pridefc.com.
For more information on PRIDE FC, visit pridefc.com!