There is so much raw ability in Kevin Randleman that it is almost sad to see him lose the way he did to Filipovic at Shockwave. I really feel he has the ability to beat many of the top tier fighters in the sport at LHW and even HW, but his style seems so dated that he can't seem to get past the ground and pound mentality. He has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights, with 4 of those losses by submission. If he could train with a top Submission guy and top striker for a year straight there is no telling how much he could improve. As it is he is just a face in the crowd, albeit a menacing one. It seems such a waste that a man with so much ability does not win more then he does.
Pride Shockwave 2004 Random Thoughts
Arnold "The Sushiboy" Lim
There is so much raw ability in Kevin Randleman that it is almost sad to see him lose the way he did to Filipovic at Shockwave. I really feel he has the ability to beat many of the top tier fighters in the sport at LHW and even HW, but his style seems so dated that he cant seem to get past the ground and pound mentality. He has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights, with 4 of those losses by submission. If he could train with a top Submission guy and top striker for a year straight there is no telling how much he could improve. As it is he is just a face in the crowd, albeit a menacing one. It seems such a waste that a man with so much ability does not win more then he does.
Mirko "Cro Cop" avenged his loss to Randleman but that just means that they are now 1-1. Both won convincingly early in the first round, maybe a year or so down the road they could settle the score once and for all. In the mean time it seems Fedor Emelianenko could be the next opponent on the Croatian Sensations hit list. He already defeated Fedors brother Aleksander, so this could set up an explosive heavyweight showdown. This could be a great fight and if it came to be, my money would be on Emelianenko. While he was not quite as impressive as we have seen in the past against Nogueira, he did what he needed to do to win and seems almost unstoppable at this point. The only time I have seen him in any sort of real danger was when he took the huge shot from Kazuyuki Fujita, and "Cro Cop" desperately wants to change that, and I hope I get to see him try. A great fight that could go either way.
Where does Rodrigo Nogueira go from Here? "Nog" is one of the finest fighters in the world today, there is no doubt about that, but it just seems that Fedor has his number. What is next for the slickest Heavyweight submission fighter on the planet today? It wont happen right away but a fight that I would love to see is Vanderlei Silva vs. Rodrigo Nogueira. Silva has been vocal about wanting to fight a heavyweight and I dont feel that Nogueira is much bigger then he is. Chute Boxe vs. BTT has featured some great bouts in the past and this one could be a great fight. Nogueira weighs even less the Mark Hunt. Both are coming off losses so I really dont see this fight happening but I can dream I suppose. A more plausible opponent For "Minotauro" could be Aleksander Emelianenko, the brother of heavyweight champion Fedor. If he were to win, he could exact a measure of revenge and get on the winning track, if Aleksander were to win it would put him in life for a rematch with "Cro Cop" sometime down the road.
First off I would like to say that I have nothing but respect for Silva for the way he stepped up against a heavyweight fighter on short notice, especially so against the always dangerous Mark Hunt. There is no shame in his performance, it was a tightly contested bout that could have gone to Silva but that is the way the cards were dealt that night. Where does the champ go from here? As I mentioned before a match up against Rodrigo Nogueira would satisfy my hunger but if that is out of the question how about against his twin brother Rogerio Nogueira who is a light heavyweight? I think the BTT vs. Chute Boxe rivalry has sparked some impressive bouts so it could be a barn burner. The more logical choice seems to be Arona, who is less entertaining but is deserving none the less. Despite a relatively poor performance, Henderson is probable in line sometime in the near future as well with his win over Yuki Kondo, a match that I personally felt he deserved to lose.
How about that Takanori Gomi. Before he lost to Joachim Hansen and BJ Penn consecutively he was considered one of the best lightweights in the world. It seems those two losses could have been just what the doctor ordered for the talented young Japanese fighter who could be the best Japanese fighter that Pride has in its entire stable. He is rumored to be in line for a future Pride Lightweight tournament and I think that a revisit with Joachim Hansen who defeated him in the past as a first round fight would be a good opportunity for him to erase one of only two previous losses. Hansen is in another tournament already so that could just be a pipe dream but I feel if Pride can make it happen it is a good possibility. The only other loss on Gomis resume would be to BJ Penn who lost to Jens Pulver, a man that Gomi just knocked out. Hmmm...... Jens Pulver showed that he has the heart of a lion but Gomi kept eating everything that Pulver threw at him and answered in spades. I still think that Pulver is a top three 145 pound fighter, but I think his days of dominating the 155 class like he once did appear to be nearing an end.
Fighter of the night - Ryo Chonan
Ryo Chonan fought what I thought was the fight of the night and has quietly put together a resume that includes a win over Carlos Newton and now Anderson Silva, a man that is coming off consecutive wins over Jeremy Horn and Lee Murray. Chonan made me jump out of my seat with his submission victory over a very credible opponent and should have put himself into a position to compete for a 185 pound title in the near future, if Pride decides to get one going anytime soon. Chonan has quietly overcome every hurdle thrown his way, and a rematch with Masanori Suda, the last man to defeat him other then Ricardo Almeida who is now retired, could be just what the doctor ordered. Anderson Silva on the other hand really does deserves another kick at the can. He put together a good effort and no matter what anyone says his fights are almost always entertaining.
The Pride broadcast featured an interesting twist. They decided to go for more of an action first, commentating second approach and really noticeably edited the show down. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but they showed the Ryan Gracie vs. Yoji Anjo, and the Giant Silva vs. Choi Mu Bae fights that were so horribly uninteresting, that I think I would rather of had seen the one minute in between round rests of all the fights instead of those fights. If Pride is serious about attracting new fans those are not the fights people need to see. They should show the Choi fight on the Korean broadcast and save the other fight for the DVD.
Stephan Leko should go back to K-1. I really dont see where he fits into the Pride picture, I think it would probably be best for both parties if he is sent on his way. How about a straight up trade for new K-1 fighter BJ Penn? Yeah I didnt think so.
This was Arnold "The Sushiboy" Lim
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