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Egg Shen

MMA: Past Fight Discussion

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I have been reliving my late teens a bit recently by reading about and watching some Pride stuff from 2005/2006. 

Check out the pop that Cro Cop gets in the fighter parade (5:00). He's even more over than Wanderlei, Yoshida and Fedor. 

 

 

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Mark Coleman trying to bring kayfabe¬†back to life long after its death¬†here talking about the Takada ‚Äėfight‚Äô;

I could swear he’s admitted numerous times that he took a dive that night. Here it’s like he can’t quite decide whether to admit it or deny it and what we end up with is this awkward and sarcastic nod and wink answer. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Coleman was asked about the Takada fight in 2010:

Quote

"It was what it was. I needed to support my family. They guaranteed me another fight after that and I needed that security. It was what it was. I'm going to leave it at that."

It was apparently an open secret beforehand that the fight was going to be worked.

Bas Rutten:

Quote

"Coleman was fighting Takada and they told me he was gonna get finished in 6 minutes by way of heel hook. So now the press comes to me and they ask me "What do you think is going to happen in this fight?" I say "Oh, it's easy. Takada is gonna win, 6 minutes, heel hook" and everybody froze, because it was before the fight and they had to change their whole gimmick."

The fight went 10 minutes instead of 6 minutes. But the fight did end with a heel hook.

Rutten and Quadros are seemingly dumbfounded in the closing stages of the fight where Coleman incomprehensibly elects to enter Takada's guard to set up the finish. It is at that point where you can tell that they know it's a work. Quadros in particular makes it bloody obvious and sounds pissed off about what he's viewing. However, up until then they called the bout as a shoot. Rutten describes it as a "good fight". 

So either (A) Rutten is telling a tall tale and only figured out the fight was fixed in real time. Or (B) He somewhat played along until the end, where he made sure to hint to the audience that the fight was a work. 

Edit: Upon checking, Rutten and Quadros probably recorded their commentary after the event had actually occurred. So (B) is the likely answer. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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yeh all those early Pride events had their English commentary dubbed in later. Rutten even commentates on fights in which he corners fighters.

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Good stuff Jimmy. I knew I hadn’t imagined it. 

And yeah, I think Pride 10 was the first one with live commentary. Stephen Quadros and Eddie Bravo called it. The first 9 were dubbed in after the fact.

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Regarding Pride's legitimacy. I think Pride can be split into two eras. 

The Morishita era: This was the early years of Pride. Gary Goodridge claims that around 90% of the fights during this timeframe were fixed. He's obviously exaggerating, but a lot of shady stuff happened at the early events. Goodridge was offered 20k to lose to Naoya Ogawa at Pride 6. A Pride office worker implied to Kerr that he should "fight stand up (sic)" before his bout with Takada, also at Pride 6. There have been similar accusations as well. 

The Sakakibara era: Morishsita was heavily in debt to certain Yakuza groups by early 2003. This may or may not have led to Morishsita's death in January of that year. This paved the way for Sakaibara to take control. Sakaibara's Pride was more of a legitimate fighting promotion. The Yakuza still played a role in its day-to-day running. And at one point Pride's own officials believed that their entire roster was on PEDs other than Hendo and Big Nog. However, the amount of questionable fights declined. In fact, almost all of the serious allegations of fixed fights came before 2003. Although, that may also be a result of Takada retiring in November of 2002. 

It's the Sakakibara era that I still cherish.  I'd take 2005-2006 Pride FC over any other fight promotion. A perfect mix of presentation, roster, fights, schedule, etc. However, Pride's most memorable moments arguably happened in the slightly more dodgy Morishita era. It had Frye's bouts with Takayama and Shamrock, Sakuraba's victory over Royce, Coleman winning the 2000 GP, the Mark Kerr documentary, Bob Sapp vs Big Nog, etc. Sadly, these moments came before my time. I only got into MMA in early 2005. And it was difficult for years to get hold of the pre-2003 stuff beyond highlights. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Indeed it was Ebb. I actually made a small error in my initial post (now edited). I got a bit mixed up with the key Yakuza figures who were involved in Pride. It's a lazy Sunday and the MMA section is a bit quiet, so I may as well go into it properly. This is how I understand Pride's involvement with the Yakuza.

Pride 1-4: These events were organised by KRS. The KRS company was funded by the Sakakibara/Ishizaka Yakuza faction, Momose's Yakuza faction, as well as Morishita. The events were a financial failure. The Japanese had lost faith in Takada after he was humbled twice by Rickson Gracie. This is why Pride's officials were so desperate for the likes of Takada, Ogawa, and Sakuraba to win at subsequent events. 

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(This was Morishita. You have perhaps seen him on early Pride DVDs in the backstage segments, etc)

Pride 5 - 2002: Morishita's company Dream Stage Entertainment assumed ownership of Pride. This is where I got things a bit wrong with my previous post. Morishita was not a part of Momose's Yakuza faction. He didn't even have a Yakuza background. He was instead involved in an electronics company. Pride's shares were thus not owned by the Yakuza during this time period. However, Sakakibara/Ishizaka and Momose's Yakuza factions still had a lot of influence on Dream Stage's finances and income. They loaned Dream Stage money, bought large chunks of tickets, and also required protection money. As stated above, this led to Morishita/DSE running up considerable debt to certain branches of the Yakuza. 

January 2003: Morishita was found dead in January of 2003. The official ruling at the time was that Morishita had committed suicide. However, it's since been suggested that Morishita was instead killed by the Yakuza. He'd run up a lot of debt to Sakakibara/Ishizaka's Yakuza faction. It should thus come as little surprise that Morishita’s shares in DSE/Pride ended up in the hands of Sakibara. This meant that Sakibara and Ishizaka assumed full control of DSE and Pride. 

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(This was Momose. You can see him sitting in the front row of most Pride events between 1997-2003. He was a huge backer of Takada. Which is perhaps why Pride matured into a more legitimate fighting promotion after he was removed from Pride's chain of command)

February-November 2003: Momose was nevertheless still an important figure in Pride behind the scenes. Momose and his associates were therefore not content to see another Yakuza faction take full control of the organisation. The two factions subsequently waged war throughout the year. This culminated in perhaps the most mental night in MMA history. At the Final Conflict 2003 event in November of 2003, around 100-200 armed Yakuza members were ready to engage in open warfare. The backstage area of the Tokyo Dome came "pretty close" to being shot up. Nevertheless, the Sakakibara/Ishizaka faction ultimately had the numbers advantage, and Momose was completely removed from Pride's hierarchy. 

December 2003: Seiya Kawamata struck a deal with Miro Mijatovic for Fedor to fight on New Year's Eve for the Inoki Bom Ba Ye promotion. This led to Ishizaka and Sakakibara holding a meeting with Kawamata at a Tokyo hotel in December of 2003. Ishizaka revealed to Kawamata that his Yakuza faction owned Pride, and that Fedor's defection had caused Pride a lot of issues with Fuji TV, which aired Pride events at the time.

January 2004: After the NYE show, Kawamata was threatened for blackmail money by former associates. These figures had turned on Kawamata and aligned themselves with Ishizaka and Sakakibara's faction. Kawamata subsequently went into hiding. He re-emerged in the spring of 2006 to blow the whistle on Pride/DSE's ties with the Yakuza to a Japanese Magazine. The same publication also revealed that individuals acting on Ishizaka's behalf had pointed a gun to Mijatovic's head in January of 2004 (Mijatovic has since publicly confirmed these claims). These revelations are commonly reported to have influenced Fuji TV to drop Pride in the summer of 2006. However, Mijatovic insists that it was the Japanese National Police that made Fuji TV cancel Pride, and that Kawamata's testimony had little impact on the decision. 

Nevertheless, Ishizaka supposedly fled to South Korea to escape imprisonment around this period. As we now know, Fuji TV dropping Pride set the wheels in motion for the company's demise the following year. 

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(This is Mijatovic. He also contributed to Pride's demise by working undercover with Japan's version of the FBI.)

There are a few details I have left out. Such as Fedor, Vadim, Fuji TV and Cro Cop's role in certain events and happenings. And there are probably tons of details that I am not aware of. But those are the key events as I understand them. So aye, Pride in 2003, absolute mayhem wasn't it?

Edited by jimufctna24

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Fucking hell. Good stuff Jim. I’m learning here, never heard most of this stuff. Obviously I knew there were deep Yakuza links and knew about the guy who was found dead in dodgy circumstances but it all sounds even more mental and fucked up than I imagined. Final Conflict 2003 really could’ve been the final conflict by the sounds of it. 

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58 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Fucking hell. Good stuff Jim. I’m learning here, never heard most of this stuff. Obviously I knew there were deep Yakuza links and knew about the guy who was found dead in dodgy circumstances but it all sounds even more mental and fucked up than I imagined. Final Conflict 2003 really could’ve been the final conflict by the sounds of it. 

Aye, it was really interesting to read up about. Just added a bit more to the end of the post about Mijatovic and Kawamata. The stuff after Final Conflict gets a bit murky because Mijatovic and Kawamata have differing accounts. Mikatovic utterly loathes Kawamata for various reasons. 

The sad thing is that I bloody love Final Conflict 2003. As I am sure you know, it's the card with Rampage vs Silva, Rampage vs Chuck, and Big Nog vs Cro Cop on it. The intro to the event is one of Pride's best as well. Now I will remember it most as the event where some 60 year old div in a baseball cap and his cronies almost started a firefight. 

 

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Fedor, Yakuza and Russian Top Team (Part 1)

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Under the watchful eye of RTT's (Russian Top Team) trainers Volk Hari, Nikolai Zuev, and Alexander Putikov, a 26 year old Fedor Emelianenko had evolved into the best fighter on the planet by mid-2003. At one time, very early in his career, he was considered by the RINGS promotion's founder Akira Maeda to be nothing more than a "runner up" in the making. And that evaluation came under the condition that Fedor make "some adjustments" to his game. Maeda's assessment no doubt played a role in the nature of Fedor's Japanese debut. While other prospects made their Japanese debuts on RINGS's main show, Fedor had to make do with debuting on an event that was basically a gateway to success for novice fighters. Fedor's tenure in RINGS was very successful overall. There were, nonetheless, still substantial holes in his game. While his takedowns, kimuras, armbars and chokes were brilliant, his defensive grappling and striking were not yet fully developed. As an example, when put on his back, he tended to hold on to a guillotine for far too long or attempt an Americana from the underside of mount. These weaknesses were palpable in his bout with Arona, which most viewers felt he lost. 

Fedor went on to make his debut for Pride in 2002 against Semmy Schilt. Fedor chiefly exhibited the same skills that he had shown in RINGS. He was able to score takedowns on Schilt and cruise to a dull, yet unanimous decision. There was little reason, based on this performance, to believe that we were seeing a fighter who would change the game. This would all change in Fedor next two bouts. When Fedor had fought previously in RINGS, the rules prohibited striking to the head on the ground. However, this rule did not apply in Pride. This enabled Fedor to pioneer what MMA writer Jack Slack dubbed "Dynamic Ground and Pound". Whereas previous ground and pound merchants would hold their opponent down and hit them while they cannot move, Fedor would flow from position to position and deliver meaty ground strikes in between. He would posture up, stand to pass, move to knee on belly from side control and allow his opponent space to work. When his opponent would move, Fedor would land bomb after bomb. He'd even bait his opponent with a hand to the mat, then punish them by posturing up and land bombs while they changed grip. Slack's article, posted below, provides extensive detail on how Fedor used these techniques against Herring and Big Nog on his way to becoming Pride's Heavyweight kingpin and one of the sport's hottest properties- https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/6/3/3059390/analyzing-fedor-revolutionizing-ground-and-pound

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Upon reaching Pride's summit, Fedor would subsequently go on a 3 fight winning streak. He first went back¬†to RINGS and beat Valavińćius. He then returned¬†to Pride and¬†beat Fujita and Gary Goodridge. The Fedor and RTT partnership appeared¬†formidable. Nevertheless, a storm was brewing behind the scenes, for which¬†would eventually have massive ramifications for the entire sport. Fedor was under contract with Pride as a representative of Russian Top Team. If, theoretically speaking, Fedor¬†cut ties¬†with¬†RTT,¬†then he would no longer be under contract to¬†Pride. At some point in 2003, Fedor was presented with a business card by Apy Echteld. This was the start of a proposal that would seek to persuade¬†Fedor to abandon RTT¬†and instead¬†be managed and trained by¬†Red Devil (Martial Arts Academy created by Vadim Finkelchtein). Echteld and Finkelchtein¬†proceeded to¬†utilise intelligence supplied to them by MMA power agents¬†Bas Boon and Miro Mijatovic to convince Fedor that he was being ripped off by Pride and RTT's management. Boon and Mijatovic were aware of certain clauses¬†in other fighters'¬†contracts. As an example, Boon and Mikatovic, as¬†co-managers¬†of Golden Glory's fighters, were¬†aware of a 50k bonus that Pride's management¬†would pay to fighters if they fought for one of the promotion's¬†belts and won. Boon sneakily emailed Pride's management and discovered that this clause was meant to apply for¬†every fighter¬†under contract with¬†the organisation. By contrast, Fedor was paid somewhere¬†between 4k and 10k for his title win over Big Nog in March of 2003 (RTT representatives¬†dispute this claim, but admit that Fedor made more money under Red Devil's management)

This all led to a meeting in Saint Petersburg in late 2003, where Fedor and other RTT defectors signed a deal with Mijatovic and Red Devil to act as their management team. Boon agreed for Mijatovic's name to be written into the contract under the proviso that Mijatovic would act on his behalf . Boon was mindful that it would hurt his relationship with Pride, as well as his limbs, if he would have been publicly named in the management agreement. Mijatovic was eager to obtain Fedor's service, as he was involved in a full-scale war with Pride's Yakuza faction at the time. They had paid Cro Cop 300k to pull out of a fight that Mijatovic had engineered with Inoki's budding MMA promotion for their NYE show. This, as covered in my previous post, ultimately resulted in Mijatovic reaching a deal with Inoki's promotion for Fedor to take Cro Cop's place on the card. Pride's management responded in numerous unscrupulous ways. They threatened to take legal action against all involved, claimed in the press that Fedor was ducking Big Nog and Cro Cop, summoned Yakuza to turn up at Mijatovic's office, and even presented an outstanding contract to the press that contained a forged signature of Fedor's name. Nevertheless, Fedor still fought on the Inoki show as scheduled. In the days following the event, Mijatovic was confronted in an Okura hotel by Pride's Yakuza faction. Mijatovic was held hostage for 3 days, two of which occurred in a Tokyo hotel, as discussions moved from city to city. In this time, Mijatovic's life was threatened and a gun was pointed at his skull. It's important to note here that Mijatovic probably only escaped death because he was 6ft 6 and carting his body out of a hotel would have been difficult without raising suspicion.

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What happened next is unclear. Mijatovic has stated that he signed over his and Boon's managerial rights to Fedor to Pride's Yakuza faction on January 5th 2004. Mijatovic claims that he left Japan immediately thereafter. However, Boon's version of events is a bit different. He claims that Pride and Red Devil continued to do business with him and Mijatovic throughout 2004. Boon further asserts Pride's management tried to bribe him and Mijatovic in late 2004 as they negotiated a new contract for Fedor under the endorsement of Red Devil. After this, Pride's management again turned nasty and accused them of using "bullshit bank wires". It was around this time-frame that Boon claims that Mijatovic actually went missing and could no longer act on his behalf in negotiations. Boon recalls that when he approached Red Devil's management backstage at Shockwave 2004 for his manager's fee, it became clear that Apy and Vadim were now affiliated with Pride's Yakuza faction. Boon was subsequently excluded from Fedor's management team entirely and stopped receiving payments. Confusing? Very. But even Boon admits that it was not always clear on bank statements that Mijatovic showed him who the money transfer was for. It's very possible that Boon was somewhat kept in the dark by Mijatovic and others throughout 2004. But really. Who the fuck knows?

This mental chain of events created several feuds that rolled on for years. Boon and Red Devil (later renamed as M1 Global) continued to trade barbs for the rest of the decade. Mijatovic was stripped of his livelihood and the Yakuza put a contract out on his life. As mentioned in my previous post, Mijatovic subsequently joined the Japanese National Police as a plant to take down the Pride organisation. Mijatovic claims that this investigation ended with a deal that entailed that his life be spared by the Yakuza and that Pride be cancelled by Fuji TV. These clauses were enforceable on the condition that Mijatovic leave the fight game entirely and drop the criminal complaint he had issued over his abduction (which probably spared Sakibara and other members of Pride's management jail time).

However, part 2 of this post will focus on RTT's mission to  "obliterate Fedor. Indeed, subsequent to these events RTT declared war against Fedor under the statement of Russians take care of Russians. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Fedor, Yakuza and Russian Top Team (Part 2)

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Upon being ditched for Red Devil, the head members of Russian Top Team embarked on their mission to "obliterate Fedor". RTT's hired gun was Sergei Kharitonov, a young fighter who they had initially recruited as a sparring partner for Fedor. RTT turned over their entire playbook to Sergei to prepare him for Fedor. They taught him new techniques that they had never shown to Fedor. 

Sergei debuted in Pride in late 2003. He was presented by Pride's announcers, at least on American¬†broadcasts, as an exceptional prospect who had all the tools to become a serious¬†contender. Sergei proceeded to notch¬†up 4 straight wins. His most notable victory was a 4 minute¬†demolition job of blown-up Middleweight Ninja Rua, and a first¬†round submission victory over¬†alleged neo-nazi Corey Peterson. A stoppage win over Semmy Schilt¬†enabled him to advance into the semi-finals of the 2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he would square off against the legendary¬†Ant√īnio Rodrigo Nogueira. A win would set him up for a clash with Fedor in the finals of the Grand Prix.¬†

Nevertheless, this was a massive ask for Sergei. It was only his 10th fight as a professional MMA fighter. To make matters worse, Big Nog was in his prime in 2004. Nog was fully committed to regaining the title he had lost to Fedor the previous year. It was around this timeframe that Nog started using the Anaconda Choke, a technique that left Pride's commentator Bas Rutten stunned, and for which Rutten subsequently demanded that Nog explain to him backstage. Nog had also figured out that his best weapon on the ground was the sweep from half guard, a weapon he would use to win the UFC title some years later. He was additionally in tremendous physical condition, with a rock-solid and defined physique, which if Pride officials are to be believed, was obtained naturally.

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The fight was initially scheduled for 3 rounds. The first round would last 10 minutes, and the 2nd and 3rd round would last 5 minutes each. However, Pride officials decided in the days leading up to the fight that a 3rd round would not be necessary. This threw Sergei off his game. He had planned to pace himself over the full 20 minutes. Nog, as the more experienced fighter, was not thrown by this curve ball. Nogueira fought more aggressively, which helped him take the decision in a competitive fight. It was clear, however, that Sergei wasn't quite ready to dethrone Pride's heavyweight elite. In particular, he had a lot of trouble dealing with Nog's dipping jab. Sergei himself even admitted that his skills needed refinement. 

Nevertheless, at the time, the loss didn't seem like a big deal. Sergei and RTT took the defeat as a learning experience and something that they could build upon. After all, Fedor was a work in progress throughout his tenure at RTT. It took 3 years of refinement for RTT to mould Fedor into the world's best fighter. Moreover, Fedor was still at his peak in 2004. Fedor was still training very hard, using his full set of skills, and developing clever gameplans that left his opponents stunned . It simply wasn't the right time for Sergei to try and "obliterate Fedor". and gain revenge on behalf of RTT. They were better off rebuilding, refining, and most of all, waiting for Fedor to slow down a bit. 

Sergei and RTT subsequently ventured to fulfil these goals. RTT opened a new sports centre in November, which they believed would take the camp to a new level. Sergei also competed in the Russian Boxing Championship at the end of the year. He made it to the finals, where he was unable to compete due to injury. Sergei returned to Pride in early 2005, where he would notch up 3 consecutive wins with the promotion. His wins included a knockout victory over Pedro Rizzo and a split decision win over a very green Fabrico Werdum. The latter fight was billed as a potential eliminator for the Pride Heavyweight belt. However, despite Sergei having his hand raised in victory, it was this fight where the cracks in the Sergei/RTT first experiment became apparent. By late 2005, Sergei was reportedly struggling with ongoing injuries to his upper back and shoulders. Indeed, Sergei strained his shoulder early in the Werdum bout, which made for a very awkward and underwhelming performance. 

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Sergei, however, while showing signs of fragility, was still on a winning streak. He was thus still a top candidate for a title shot as 2006 dawned. If he fought through the injuries and kept winning, it seemed inevitable that RTT's chance for redemption against Fedor would come. Pride subsequently matched him up with Middleweight fringe contender Alistair Overeem. This fight was expected to be one-way traffic in Sergei's favour. Sergei carried a 20lbs weight advantage, and Overeem had previously been stopped by natural Middleweights Shogun Rua and Chuck Liddell. It therefore seemed a formality that the big punching Kharitonov would finish vulnerable and undersized Overeem in quick time. Yet, disaster struck for Sergei in the opening moments of the bout. Overeem muscled Sergei to the mat with a takedown. Sergei landed awkwardly on his fragile right shoulder, which was immediately dislocated. Sergei could do little but hang on as Overeem proceeded to knee the ever-loving shit out of him from side-mount. The referee had eventually seem enough, and stepped in to declare Overeem as the winner. Sergei and RTT were stunned. This was meant to be their night. To add insult to injury, Overeem had trained with Fedor in the months leading up to the fight. Fedor was credited for improving Overeem's ground and pound, the same ground and pound that had left Sergei a broken and bloody mess. 

On the same night as the Overeem and Kharitonov fight, Mark Coleman had scored a somewhat fluke win over P4P kingpin Shogun Rua. Coleman's victory made it easy for Pride to book the American against Fedor for their inaugural event in the States in October, albeit in a non-title affair. However, Sergei was still in contention for a fight with Fedor later in the year. He would have a perfect chance to reclaim his status as the top contender to Fedor's throne in September of 2006 as he would square off against Fedor's younger brother Aleks. As the bout begun, Pride's lead commentator Mauro Ranallo noted that Kharitonov was still a top candidate for a shot at Fedor's title. The fight went back and forth. Aleks initially got the better of the striking exchanges. Sergei then turned the tide, by scoring a knockdown and laying on top of Aleks in full guard. After the fight was stood up, Sergei continued to land some meaty strikes and it seemed that Aleks was getting tired. However, Aleks then landed a decent punch, which prompted Sergei to wave Aleks in. This was a huge mistake, as Aleks' hands were arguably even better than his brothers'. Aleks proceeded to again rock Sergei, who retreated to the ground. Aleks continued to wail on him until the referee stepped in to signal the stoppage. Sergei had lost yet another winnable fight. 

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The loss to Aleks firmly pushed Sergei out of title contention. It was instead Mark Hunt who received a title shot against Fedor on Pride's NYE show. As Fedor lumbered to a submission victory over Hunt, RTT and Sergei must have wondered what might have been. It was clear in the Hunt fight that Fedor was ripe for the picking. Fedor rushed an armbar attempt, attempted sloppy takedowns, and exhibited very questionable cardio. This should not be mistaken for Fedor taking Hunt lightly. Rather, it should be seen as the beginning of Fedor's decline. In the years that followed, Fedor became less dedicated to training, stop using his full skill-set, and his fight IQ diminished rapidly. Of course, he was still a dangerous fighter. He barely trained for his 2009 fight with Arlovski, yet still managed to evade most of Arlovski's offence and knocked him out cold. However, had Fedor taken Sergei as lightly as he did Hunt and Arlovski. it's possible that Fedor would not have been so lucky. Sergei was an excellent body puncher, who could use his right hand to put together lethal combinations. This was, ironically, best exemplified when Sergei used his boxing to take apart Arlovski at a Strikeforce event in 2011. But with the unfortunate losses to Overeem and Aleks respectively, Sergei and RTT were denied the chance to complete their mission. 

Sergei and RTT returned to Pride in early 2007. Sergei would defeat future UFC Heavyweight contender Mike Russow. This fight would mark the end of an era. Not only was it Sergei's final fight in Pride, but it was also Sergei's final fight with RTT. Sergei would leave the team in mid-2007 to join Golden Glory. This, for the most part, signalled the end of the "obliterate Fedor" mission. RTT had fallen short. Nevertheless, the Sergei experiment is only half of the story. In my next post, I will discuss RTT's other hired gun, and the numerous Russian MMA civil wars that broke out after 2007. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24

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I re-watched this classic duel this morning. The first time I have watched it since mid-2007. The fight marked the beginning of the best run of Diaz's career and the beginning of the end of Gomi's prime. Thus, the fight quite fittingly showcased the main reason why Gomi declined - his tendency to overestimate his power punching, and also exemplified one of the main reason why Diaz was later able to put together a strong run under the Strikeforce banner - his ability to punch in both volume and with precision. It's a real roller coaster and I am happy to report that it has stood the test of time. 

Sadly, I didn't watch the fight in real time. I used to get my Pride DVDs delivered to me on a 4-day delay. However, my supplier went out of business a month before the fight took place and I didn't have any other way of watching it. I had a right sulk when it registered that I had missed out on one of the greatest MMA shows of the 2000s (and the last great Pride show). I eventually saw the show a few months later, once I had sorted out a new supplier. 

Sod's law.

Edited by jimufctna24

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