Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Guest TSMAdmin

Tap Out Wrap Up: PRIDE 24: Cold Fury III

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin

“The Tap Out Wrap Up”

Review of Pride 24: “Cold Fury III”


Hello, it’s Dave Dymond again, and welcome to the Tap Out Wrap Up.


In this column, we’re going to be taking a look at the results of the card for Pride 24: “Cold Fury III.” Before we do that, there’s some tragic news to report, if you haven’t heard it elsewhere.


“On January 8th 2003, PRIDE President Naoto Morishita and other PRIDE officials held a press conference at a Shinjuku Hotel in Tokyo to announce plans for upcoming middleweight and heavyweight Grand Prix tournaments, with the first stage happening in August and the finals happening in October.


After the press conference, Morishita finished business and went back to his hotel room. At approximately 12:20 AM, a female acquaintance went into Morishita's hotel room and found him dead in the bathroom from a suicide attempt using the belt/strap from his bathrobe to hang himself. The acquaintance called police and an alert was issued. A rescue team arrived on the scene, but it was determined that Morishita was already dead.


A spokesperson for the Shinjuku police stated that he didn't know if the suicide was "not of his (Morishita's) own will" and hinted that the suicide was due to problems with a friendship, a relationship, or an acquaintance to someone. However, there are enormous stories flying around in Japan that Morishita was feeling intense pressure from business partners and financial backers in PRIDE to continue to make more money than previous years.


A few foreign business deals had fallen through and not gone according to plans for PRIDE, including a TV deal in which rights would be sold for distribution to clients in the Middle East.



Morishita, before becoming the boss of Dream Stage Entertainment, working in a household-electronic appliances company and then founded an advertising agency, transitioning into being the boss of Dream Stage Entertainment, which took over PRIDE from KRS.” - Credit Zach Arnold of “Puroresu Power”


It seems almost disrespectful to report the results of the latest show in light of this baffling and saddening news. As the article says, rumors have been floating around for over a year now that DSE has been losing money, and if you remember how the owner of FMW reacted to that company's bankruptcy, it figures.


I also heard that there were problems between Inoki and others at DSE, but I'm not even sure how much actual POWER Inoki had with DSE, although I know he did have considerable political and popular influence.


I guess we'll have to see. It's tragic, but unfortunately, suicide is a culturally accepted practice in Japan, at least more so than here in North America. (My ex was a teacher in Japan.)


What this means for PRIDE and MMA in general now remains to be seen.


R.I.P. Morishita-san and thanks for all the memories.


The fighters and employees have stated unequivocally that PRIDE will continue. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest PRIDE Pay Per View event, which made it’s broadcast debut last night.





Daijiro Matsui vs. Kazuki Okubo


What I said…


“I’m going to be kind, and say that this fight belongs as the opener…for time reasons, PRIDE usually picks one fight to cut out of the broadcast, and to be honest, I kind of hope it’s this one. Aside from giving a PANCRASE fighter a shot in PRIDE, I don’t really see a point to this fight…”


Who I picked…


“I’m going to give this one to Matsui. Neither fighter is what I’d consider top level competition, but Matsui has been in there with much better fighters than Okubo.”


What I thought…


As I had hoped, PRIDE chose not to show this fight, since it was obviously of NO interest to North American MMA fans, just to the Japanese fans. So since I didn’t SEE the fight, I cannot comment on it!


Who won?


Daijiro Matsui defeated Kazuki Okubo by Unanimous Decision. This means I go 1 WIN, 0 LOSSES on my predictions so far.



Guy Mezger vs. Rogerio Nogueira


What I said…


“This is a tough match to call, and it could go the distance. As much as I respect and like Guy Mezger, I think the Nogueira genes run too deep.”



Who I picked…


“I’m picking Rogerio Nogueira to beat Guy Mezger…but I’d be happy to be wrong.”


What I thought…


This was not a “blow away” fight, and I was a bit disappointed. It was solid, just not as good as I think it could have been. As I had predicted, it went the distance. Both men put in a solid effort.


The things I found a bit surprising about this fight were the fact that Nogueira seemed MORE than happy to stand up with Mezger, (who is a former kickboxer) when I expected him to want to fight from the ground. Also, Guy looked a little tentative and not so aggressive.


Who won?


Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira defeated Guy Mezger by Split Decision This means I go 2 WINS, 0 LOSSES on my predictions so far.



Ron Waterman vs. Valentijn Ovreem


What I said…


“YES! Ron Waterman is BACK!… Despite my respect for Ovreem, I think Ron Waterman is a superior athlete, and has something to prove.”


Who I picked…


“I’m picking Ron Waterman to defeat Valentijn Ovreem.”


What I thought…


WOW! That’s what I thought. You cannot say this was a great fight, simply because Waterman was SO aggressive and dominating. That is NOT to say the fight was BORING…it wasn’t. Waterman came out like a man on a mission, and overpowered Ovreem. I thought it might take a few fights to get Waterman back in the saddle again, but nope! I was a little surprised at the lack of offense from Ovreem.


Who won?


Ron Waterman defeated Valentijn Overeem by Submission (keylock armbar) at 2 minutes and 18 seconds into the first round. This means I go 3 WINS, 0 LOSSES on my predictions so far.



Yuki Sasaki vs. Rodrigo Gracie


What I said…


“ I have to give big props to Rodrigo for taking such competition so early in his career, but Japanese fighters seem to do well against the Gracie family, and I think Sasaki has more experience. I haven’t seen anything from the young Gracie, and I HAVE seen Sasaki in Shooto, so I might be biased. We’ll find out…”


Who I picked…


“I’m picking Yuki Sasaki to defeat Rodrigo Gracie.”


What I thought…




Oh I’m sorry. I dozed off there for a minute, thinking about this fight.


Holy crap. I’m not like what the Japanese consider a “typical” North American fan is, who cannot appreciate ground work, and want nothing but stand up. I appreciate good groundwork, and this card had some GREAT groundwork, just not in THIS fight.


Gracie’s ring entrance was extremely animated and theatric with dancing and singing, and that was the most exciting thing about this fight, trust me. I have always been a harsh critic of the Gracie family style, as being too inactive on the ground. Well, my criticisms were on the button here. This fight was a snoozer, but my pick Sasaki was just as much to blame. Gracie totally CONTROLLED the pace of this fight, and when you let a Gracie control the pace, they like to go SLOW.


Even the announcers labeled this fight as “passive” which is the NICE way of saying BORING.


Who won?


Rodrigo Gracie defeated Yuki Sasaki by Unanimous Decision. This means I go 3 WINS and 1 LOSS on my predictions so far.



Norihisa Yamamoto vs. Alexander Otsuka


What I said…


“ Somebody shoot me now…I can honestly say that I have rarely if ever been entertained by either of these fighters. I can only assume that the reason PRIDE booked them to fight each other is because SOMEBODY has to win. Unless they go to a draw, and bore everybody to death in the process. I don’t know WHY PRIDE booked this…there are so many better fighters who deserve a fight on such a high profile show.

This fight is a prime example of how Dreamstage Ent. lets Antonio Inoki’s Pro Wrestler fetish affect their bookings, and we as the North American MMA fans pay the price…”


Who I picked…


“ I’m picking Alexander Otsuka to beat Norihisa Yamamoto…I don’t really care about this fight, so I can guarantee you that unless THIS is the fight PRIDE chooses not to show, I’ll be going to the bathroom, getting a snack, or doing my taxes during this fight.”


What I thought…


As I had hoped, PRIDE had MERCY on us and ALSO chose not to show this fight, since it was obviously of NO interest to North American MMA fans, just to the Japanese fans. So since I didn’t SEE the fight, I cannot comment on it!


Who won?


Norihisa Yamamoto defeated Alexander Otsuka by a TKO (Leg Injury) after the first round. This means I go 3 WINS, and 2 LOSSES on my predictions so far. Damn Otsuka. Not only does he suck, he screws up my prediction record.



Alistair Overeem vs. Volk Ataev


What I said…


“ I don’t know anything about either fighter in this fight, so my prediction is going to be pretty much a guess… Then again, I have to tell you that I think the combination of kickboxing and hybrid-submission wrestling is the BEST standup/groundwork combo you could have…it could be a real war…”


Who I picked…


“I’m picking Alistair Overeem to beat Volk Ataev. That could be a good fight.”


What I thought…


It WAS a good fight. The two fighters threw down standing up, and Ataev landed a BEAUTIFUL spinning back kick. The fight also went to the ground, where Overeem dominated. Volk was game, but Overeem was ON, and shrugged off some blows from the Russian fighter that looked like they would have flattened any other guy.


Who won?


Alistair Overeem defeated Volk Ataev due to Referee Stoppage (from massive strikes) at 4 minutes and 59 seconds into the second round. He almost made it into the 3rd round, but this young Overeem is a hell of a fighter, and should be watched. He could be a real threat. This means I go 4 WINS, and 2 LOSSES on my predictions so far.



Murilo Ninja vs. Kevin Randleman


What I said…


“ This is a classic case of me WANTING somebody to win…but thinking they probably WON’T… I know I’m in the minority on that one, but either way, American Wrestling vs. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu always makes for an interesting clash of styles and by definition shows what the Mixed Martial Arts are all about…so it should be a good one.”


Who I picked…


“I’m going with my heart on this one…I’m picking Kevin Randleman to beat Murilo Rua.”


What I thought…


Before I get into MY thoughts, I wanted to share with you a VERY intelligent, well written email I got from a reader named Lei Tong after my prediction column. He disagreed about my feelings on Kevin “The Monster” Randleman.


Here’s what Lei had to say…


“Thus far, he's been ANYTHING but impressive in PRIDE. His debut fight was against Japanese pro wrestler turned MMA fighter Michiyoshi Ohara, infamous for the horrible snorefest he helped perpetrate with a declining Renzo Gracie. However, despite it being such a mismatch on paper, Randleman had trouble effectively hurting Ohara, and only exposed his supposedly improved stand-up skills as still very under-developed. The match was so disappointing that Kevin and trainer Mark Coleman got into an argument over his performance immediately after the match.


Then, he faced another pro wrestler turned MMA fighter, Kenichi Yamomoto. Yamamoto made his MMA debut by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the UFC's UFC Japan 2 4-man tourney. Since then, however, he was tooled by the smaller Pat Miletich and Genki Sudo. During this match, Kevin once again showed a lack of some very basic skills, as although he easily took Yamamoto down, he was unable to do much despite having sidemount and north-south positioning. It was pretty sad to see him unable to perform a simple keylock on a man he had at least 20 pounds on, despite Coleman trying to walk him through it step-by-step. On another note, he took so long to use the knees to Yamamoto's head because he "didn't think they hurt." Sorry for the long spiel, but it seems that Randleman's comeback has been seriously overhyped.”


I would like to say for the record, that if you’re going to disagree with somebody…THAT is how you do it! I don’t agree with Lei about Kevin Randleman, but he:


a) Makes some excellent points

b) States his argument extremely well and…

c) Obviously knows his MMA!


Somebody give this guy his own column!


Anyhow, this fight was a GOOD one, and the Kevin Randleman I was HOPING would show up DID show up. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Randleman dominated Rua, but he sure turned a lot of heads with his performance.


I would say this was “vintage” Randleman, some great takedowns, some top shelf ground and pound, and an added bonus…the man has OBVIOUSLY been working on his ground and pound! He absolutely FLOORED Rua with a left hook from HELL. Rua was game, but Randleman was firing on all cylinders, and would not be denied.


Who won?


My heart was right on this one. Kevin Randleman defeated Murilo "Ninja" Rua by a TKO (due to a cut) at 20 seconds into the third round. This means I go 5 WINS, and 2 LOSSES on my predictions so far.



Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dan Henderson


What I said…


“ This should be an OUTSTANDING fight, for two reasons. It has the aforementioned MMA clash of styles with wrestling vs. Jiu Jitsu, and better yet, it has a GREAT backstory….Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira wants to avenge his only MMA loss. As for Dan Henderson, well…you can imagine what a win for him would do against the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion. If he wins this fight, he will go down in history as “having the number” of the greatest heavyweight in MMA today…and will be able to demand a fight with just about anybody. This should be a great fight, and with the conditioning of these guys, it could easily go the distance.”


Who I picked…


“I think Dan Henderson is one of the BEST fighters in MMA, and he is one of my favorites…but his win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was years ago, and I honestly don’t think the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion can be beat right now. I’m picking Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to beat Dan Henderson and avenge his only loss.”


What I thought…


Simply put, this is the fight that took this card from being a “so-so” show to a must see.


Dan Henderson PROVED that he is one of the BEST fighters in MMA today, and that he DOES indeed have some special insight into the arsenal of the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion.




For the first two rounds, Nogueira put Henderson in submission hold after submission hold, only to see the “Amazing Henderson” (as the announcers started calling him) ESCAPE every time. Put it this way, Nogueira had more trouble with Henderson than he had with Bob Sapp at Shockwave last year…and THAT is really saying something.


Steven Quadros, the PRIDE play by play man, hit it on the head when he said: “You can’t win a fight or score points by escaping submission holds, but damn is it ever impressive!”


In the end, it wasn’t enough. But Dan Henderson did not lose any respect from anybody in this fight, but he made a mistake. He gave Nogueira his arm, and you just don’t do that and get away with it.


Who won?


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Dan Henderson by Arm Bar Submission at 1 minute and 49 seconds into the third round. This means I go 6 WINS, and 2 LOSSES on my predictions.




That wraps up my review of “PRIDE: Cold Fury III”. Let’s recap the results…


Daijiro Matsui defeated Kazuki Okubo.

Rogerio Nogueira beat Guy Mezger.

Ron Waterman defeated Valentijn Ovreem.

Rodrigo Gracie beat Yuki Sasaki, and bored us all to tears in the process.

Norihisa Yamamoto defeated stupid Alexander Otsuka.

Alistair Overeem beat Volk Ataev.

Kevin Randleman beat Murilo Rua.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira beat Dan Henderson.


In total, I went 6 WINS, and 2 LOSSES on my predictions.


PRIDE 24 is in the history books. It was a fairly good show. It wasn’t great by any standards, but the last two matches made it worth seeing. If you get a chance, check out the Main Event, and watch the best MMA Fighter in the World get pushed to his limit.


That’s it for me. I’ll see you next time with my preview for UFC 41: Onslaught. This card will feature the finals of the UFC Lightweight Title Tournament, Rodriguez defending his UFC Heavyweight Championship for the first time, and the return of TANK ABBOTT to Mixed Martial Arts. Should be a keeper!


See you then.


- Dave Dymond

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this