I meant to get this up sooner, but I got caught up with exams. Enough about me, here is my write up of Pride FC 11 Battle of the Rising Sun, which took place on 10/31/2000.
The first match was Tom Erikson against Heath Herring. The announcers (Quadros and Bravo) were favoring Erikson and mentioned how Erikson had complained that the top fighters in Pride, like Coleman and Kerr, were ducking him. Erikson took Herring down and landed a couple bombs, but was relatively noneffective from the top position. Herring was very impressive on the ground. He stayed active with submission attempts and constant hip movement. The referee stood them up and Herring was pumped. I would say he "hulked out" and tore into Erikson with two successive head kicks, the later dropping Erikson. Herring took his back, sunk in the hooks, and got the rear naked choke.
Next was a match everyone watching, myself included, was excited to watch; Gilbert Yvel versus Wanderlei Silva. Very early in the first round, Silva nails Yvel with a really hard kick to the groin. Yvel looked to be in extreme pain, and after a few minutes the fight was ended and it was called a no-contest. Truly heart breaking.
Yoshiaki Yatsu versus Gary Goodridge was next. Goodridge had pretty good take-down defense, which was a shame for Yatsu because he really did not have anything else. Goodridge was killing Yatsu with leg kicks but Yatsu got a single leg take-down and had Goodridge in some weird submission attempt that didn't seem to really phase Gary at all. The referee stood them up and gave Goodridge a yellow card after Goodridge kneed Yatsu's head while Yatsu was on all fours. The referee stopped the fight shortly thereafter; Goodridge landed uppercut after uppercut, but to my surprise Yatsu never fell. Goodridge won by TKO.
The next fight was Alexander Otsuka against Mike Bourke. Otsuka won with a double armbar. I had never seen one and it was pretty sweet. Bourke had to tap out by stamping his feet. From guard, Otsuka took control of both Bourke's wrists and used his knees to hyper-extend Bourke's elbow's.
Akira Shoji and Herman Renting were next. Shoji showed a lot skill with his Jiu Jitsu and got the positions and locked on the armbar for the win.
The next match was Naoya Ogawa versus Masaaki Satake. The match was fought mostly on the feet and seemed a little awkward to me. Satake had a series of leg kicks and Ogawa kept using his straight left punch from his southpaw stance. In round two, Ogawa got the take-down and got Satake's back and won with the rear naked.
The main event was Kazushi Sakuraba versus Shannon "The Cannon" Ritch. Fujita was in Ritch's corner and Ritch was in TapOut trunks which I found interesting. This was the first TapOut apparel I've seen in any of the Pride events I've seen thus far. Ritch had an awkwardly low stance, for threatening the shoot perhaps? Sakuraba got the take-down and had a quick achilles lock on Ritch, who tapped out fast. The fight is included below.
Kazushi Sakuraba vs Shannon Ritch
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Although this is only the fifth Pride FC event I've watched, I'm already noticing the frequency with which some fighters are willing to compete. Today, typically fighters will only fight two or three times a year. I'm sure there are motivations for fighting on a professional level so frequently, but they must have known of the health risks. I know this is a common criticism of Pride and I am definitely bearing witness to it.