This a write up to the Pride FC 9 New Blood that took place in Nagoya, Japan on June 4th, 2000.
I finally learned who the other announcer was working with Bas Rutten, his name is Stephen Quadros.
The first fight featured Heath Herring against Willie Peters. This was Herring's first appearance in Pride and he looked very young. Peters fought in a wrestling one-piece and was submitted by Herring with a rear naked choke very quickly.
Carlos Barreto versus Try Telligman was next. The announcers explain that Telligman lost his right pectoral in an accident when he was 1.5 years old. It was a little shocking at first to see Telligman's physique, but the announcers assured the audience he was cleared to fight. During the rest after round one, Telligman tells his corner that, "I just don't have the lungs on me anymore." In the second round, Barreto delivered a big knee to Telligman's head even though both men looked tired. Barreto won via decision.
The next match was Allan Goes and Vernon "Tiger" White. The announcers explain that Goes was in the Brazilian army and ended up stranded in the Amazon for three months with his company. Goes was able to keep a good position for much of the match, but even in mount he could not really capitalize. At the end of the second round, Goes postures up and both men deliver frantic blows and the round ends. Goes wins the decision.
Carlos Newton against Naoki Sano was next. I was surprised how soft-spoken Newton was during his interview, my impression was that he was wild, but that just shows that these guys are normal people who just happen to be fighters. Newton won with an arm-bar very quickly in the first round.
John "The Saint" Renken and Akira Shoji were next. Renken's nickname is "The Saint" because he is the pastor of a church. Shoji was able to get mount easily but Renken had some good escapes. Shoji was able to get mount and finish with an armbar though.
Up next was Ricco Rodriguez versus Gary Goodridge. Mark Kerr was in Rodriguez's corner. Rodriguez shot for the take-down a lot but Goodridge had a good sprawl. Rodriguez put Goodridge on the mat though, with a slam. On the ground, Goodridge was ineffective and Rodriguez won the decision.
The Pride FC Gran Prix 2000 runner up, Igor Volchanchyn fighting Daijiro Matsui was the next match. Volchanchyn was able to take Matsui's back, but instead of attempting the choke, delivered a lot of hard punches to the head. Matsui cannot escape and a cut opens up in his eyebrow and there is a lot of blood. The fight is stopped and Volchanchyn wins.
The main event was Vitor Belfort versus Gilbert Yvel. The announcers expect this match to have a lot of explosive striking and Belfort knocks Yvel down with a big left right at the beginning of the first round. Yvel has Belfort in his guard and tries to just hold him down, but Belfort was able to get some ground-and-pound in. In the second round, Belfort is able to take Yvel down at will. Yvel has no sprawl and on the ground, did not move his hips or attempt any sweeps or submissions. The referee kept standing them up but Yvel would just get taken down and get slowly grinded out on the mat. With Belfort's win via decision, Brazilian Top Team won all three fights it had members in (Barreto and Goes were the other two in the Brazilian Top Team camp).
"New Blood" was the perfect name for this event because this event occurred early in many of the participants careers. Nine years later, some of the fighters have made big names for themselves and are at the top of the heap in their weight division. One of my goals in undertaking this endeavour was to witness the rise of fighters considered legends today, and I am seeing just that.