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wandshogun09

Pride FC: 1997-2007. In 2017.

39 posts in this topic

i dont recall Master Onion beating Ruas, wild! Brazilians are notprious for their excuses though aren't they.

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1 hour ago, wandshogun09 said:

That's the one. He is though, isn't he? 

Certainly.

I never really knew what to make of Rickson. He was a bit before my time. By the time I got into MMA in 2005, he was very much yesterday's man. The general feeling was that he was protected to keep the Gracie clan's declining aura alive. He was the last line of defence against the notion that MMA had evolved since the mid-90's. Few were fooled though. When Rickson commented that he'd beat the likes of Cro Cop and Fedor - his comments were wildly met with howls of laughter. A bit like when Hulk Hogan claimed that Andre The Giant was 700lbs at Wrestlemania 3. 

There were a few people fooled though. Before UFC 60 in 2006, a small portion of the MMA fanbase predicted that Royce was going to tie Hughes into knots, which obviously didn't happen. After UFC 60, even the most ardent Gracie fan had to accept that the sport had evolved. Rickson was pretty much forgotten after that. Other than an appearance in the EA MMA video game, and the whole "Rickson by armbar" craze on forums - he doesn't get much of a mention that much these days. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24
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What made it funnier is that there was clearly no logical reason to think Royce was going to beat Matt Hughes. If you looked at the respective skills of Hughes and Royce, there was absolutely no rational reason to think Royce was going to win. Royce had nothing but a submission game that was, even before the Hughes fight, considered archaic. People were so caught up in the myth and the aura of the Gracie’s, that they, as you said, thought he would walk through Hughes and tap him out with ease. Even Hughes himself has admitted to being concerned about what Royce could do. At least until the fight started, when he then realized Royce had nothing.

Rickson was considered the greatest fighter of all time during that period, but that was based entirely on a well crafted and carefully manufactured reputation. Rickson talked a lot but he never faced the top or even mid-level fighters of the time. So you never really knew how good he actually was. You just knew how good his reputation was. And over time, that became more of a joke, as did the Gracie rep in general, because of how they constantly tried to manipulate the rules of their fights to make sure things were heavily weighted in their favour. We’ll see that a lot of that as we go through the history of PRIDE.

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What were the odds on Royce/Hughes then? i can't remember. It was silly to think it would be even remotely competitive though.

You make a great point about Rickson though Noah. He did always feel like the Gracie's last line of defence to protect the legend. The only issue with it was he never actually fought to defend it, instead it created a myth which still stands to a degree. Joe Rogan for example is still sold on the Rickson thing, whenever it's brought up Rogan still says that even though the Gracie's were exposed down the line (which isn't a knock), Rickson was supposedly on a whole other level which we never got to see the real power of. It's a crazy story

 

 

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Quote

 

UFC 60, May 27th
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

MATT HUGHES -300
ROYCE GRACIE +250

 

Source: MMA Weekly

Very generous odds.
 

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Looking at the second Takada fight, I hadn't seen it in years and years and I was surprised how much trouble Rickson had with him. Granted, once he got it on the ground it was a matter of time but before that it was actually looking a bit of a struggle. He got his first takedown attempt stuffed then Takada was able to neutralise him in the clinch for ages before hurting him with 2 knees to the body, the second of which legitimately dropped him. Fucking Takada did that. If Takada was able to have even that much success can you imagine what a Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock or Kazushi Sakuraba would've been able to do against him back then when they were all in or close to their primes? 

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Aye.

Sakuraba would have given him fits. Out of the 3 mentioned, Sakuraba was the most realistic match-up as well. Bas was nearing retirement. Franky Shams was about to take a lengthy sabbatical. It only made sense for Rickson to fight Sakurba - especially as Sakuraba was fast earning the nickname of the "Gracie killer". For that very reason, it only made sense for Rickson to call it a day. 

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Yeah by 1999, Sakuraba was 4-0 over 4 Gracies - Royce, Renzo, Royler and Ryan. It would've been great to see Sakuraba vs Rickson in 2000 but it wasn't going to happen. Rickson was 41/42 in 2000 though. 

I think of the 3 I mentioned - Sakuraba, Frank Shamrock and Bas Rutten - I think Bas would've been the worst matchup for Rickson. He was the biggest of 3, I think his takedown defence was better than Rickson's takedown offence, and his striking would've been a nightmare for Rickson. If Takada was hurting him to the body then Bas' liver shots would've folded him like a deck chair. I think Bas would've royally fucked Rickson up. Bas actually mentioned during Pride 3 that he was looking to come to Pride after fulfilling his UFC contract and that he wanted to fight Rickson. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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I think you're a year out Wand. It was by the close of 2000 that Sakuraba was 4-0 over the Gracie's. I only remember that because I recall Royce vs Sakuraba happening in the 2000 Grand Prix. It would have been 2001 where it would - and probably - should have happened. It would have been like the final boss in a video game. Rickson's last fight was in May 2000, so he wouldn't have had a massive lay-off had he agreed to fight Sakuraba in early 2001.

I agree about Bas being a the worst match-up for Rickson. That was why people howled when Rickson would talk about Cro Cop. He'd have little chance of getting Cro Cop to the mat, and he wouldn't last 5 minutes with him on the feet. At least with Fedor there was an outside chance of it reaching the floor, if Fedor fancied sitting in Rickson's guard as he did with Nog. With Cro Cop? No fecking chance. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24
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