July 1st at the Saitama Arena in Japan, Pride will peel the next layer off their onion of insanity and unleash the second round of their Critical Countdown Absolute open weight tournament. In the opening round, the heavyweights made a firm case for the use of weight categories by making a clean sweep over the middleweights...
July 1st at the Saitama Arena in Japan, Pride will peel the next layer off their onion of insanity and unleash the second round of their Critical Countdown Absolute open weight tournament. In the opening round, the heavyweights made a firm case for the use of weight categories by making a clean sweep over the middleweights. In fact, the only middleweight to make it into the second round is Wanderlei Silva; who was awarded a spot in the tournament against the Japanese meat-grinder Kazuyuki Fujita, who is essentially a Honda Civic in spandex shorts.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Kazuyuki Fujita
Statistically, there is no difference between fighting Fujita and being crushed under a vending machine except possibly for the fact that a vending machine doesnt slam you on your head before crushing you or if it does they dont show that on the warning sticker. Will Silva win? Probably not. Fujita looks like some quasi-Neolithic product of a Japanese selective breeding program designed to defeat the middleweight champ. Namely, you could whack him square on the jaw with a shovel and hed still be able to tackle a stampeding elephant to the ground. Now Fujita will do what countless other Japanese fighters could not and defeat Silva by GNP.
Josh Barnett vs. Mark Hunt
Barnett has all the tools to win this fight - but he wont win. Instead of taking Hunt down and choking him, Barnett will choose to stand and trade strikes. Somewhere, Pedro Rizzo will see this and shake his head in disgust. Only once he has taken the worst of the striking exchange will Barnett realize what every man, woman and child knew before he even got in the ring: He should take Hunt down. By this time, however, he will be way too tired to do this and will lose a decision. As usual, he will reflect on his flawed strategy during his post-fight interview.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum
I am still waiting to see a fight where two jiu jitsu champs square off and actually use jiu jitsu. It has never happened, and I am beginning to doubt it ever will. The idea of seeing two black belts in BJJ face each other in MMA conjures forth images of two men intertwined like snakes, exchanging submission attempts like two furious children locked in a high-speed game of rock, paper, scissors. Instead, the invariable result is something that would look like boxing except one fighter keeps turning his back, running away and/or falling down. Should we expect this here? Probably. So who is the better boxer? Big Nog who will win a decision over Werdum.
Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic vs. Hidehiko Yoshida
Yoshida always looks like hes having an allergic reaction to some angry bees which hes just snorted up his nose. I cant explain why. Even before he gets in the ring, his face is kind of puffy somehow. Perhaps his diet contains too much wasabi. My point is: I can only imagine how balloon-esque his face will look after it goes on several high-impact prom dates with the foot of Mirko Cro Cop. Frankly, Ill be shocked if he can see out of either eye when its over. That being said, I still expect Yoshida to win; likely by wrapping his gi around Cro Cops neck.
Pawel Nastula vs. Edson Drago
Nastula hasnt won a fight in Pride and Drago hasnt lost a fight, ever. That doesnt bode well for the Polish judoka who will likely eat a shot in the mush at some point and assume what is known in judo as the turtle defense and in MMA as the please punch me mercilessly in the side of the head until the ref is forced to stop the fight position. Drago by TKO.
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshiki Takahashi
I will slap the next person who talks about Belforts lightning fast hands. The man hasnt been the same since Couture took him apart, and that was in 1932. That being said, I thought that Yoshiki Takahashi had long ago gone to the Pancrase retirement home to enjoy the morphine, geisha girls and sake he so richly deserves after spending most of his life defending the honor of Japan from western invaders. I guess I was wrong. Still, I cant decide who has the upper hand here. Takahashi is in the evening of his career but Belforts mind may be on permanent hiatus from reality. I will bet on old guy to beat crazy guy. Takahashi wins a decision.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Alistair Overeem
The last time these two fought, Overeem managed to snatch defeat from the mouth of victory, or maybe he got screwed by the judges. Will he lose again? Likely not. Much like the Borg, from Star Trek: the Next Generation, once youve beaten Overeem he learns how to keep you from beating him the same way again. Also, guys from BTT still seem too content to stay on their backs looking for a submission from the guard while opponents fire down shots. Alistar has learned his lessons and will bring the winners cheque back to the happy land of legalized prostitution and reefer madness.
Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Evangelista Cyborg Santos
I seriously doubt that Santos is an actual cyborg. After all, the height of Brazilian technology is currently the mango. However, KazNak is undoubtedly the result of Japanese science gone wild in true Godzilla-movie fashion. Speaking of movies, Cyborg (starring Jean Claude Van Damme) was lame. For this reason alone, I think Nakamura will win by submission.
Yoshihiro Nakao vs. Lee Eun Su
I will bet you two dollars that Nakao does not give Lee Eun Su a friendly pre-fight peck on the lips. Heath Herring reacted badly to that (He now lives in a shed in the desert) and Nakao ended up getting the worst post-smooch beatdown since Sexy Cindy Whitmans dad caught you and her on the porch, going at it like two bullfrogs. I dont know who Lee Eun Su is; which cant possibly be a good thing. Ill bet that, this time, Nakao does not end up KOd in his man-diaper on national television and pulls out a win.