I guess I made some kind of Faustian bargain with the MMA Gods. I was blessed by them, as I was able to watch live, not one but two major MMA events in the span of six weeks without having to drive more than 40 minutes. Rare are such fortunes for any MMA fan. Not only that but the cards were filled with the heroes that I have built my love and loyalty to MMA upon. Alas, came the bargain. I would have to watch them fall in horrific, helpless defeat. Destiny is a fickle bitch.
It is incredibly sad to watch three Pride legends fall in such a short span of time and in such a manner. They did not only fall, they were decimated. These three were not just legends, they defined the Pride era. Of course, today the funeral bells are ringing, the cord being pulled by many fans. But, I tell you. It is too soon.
For our dear Cro Cop, yes the time has come. He has given us many a breathless moment but his legs and hips are just too battered by the years. However, for our other two fallen heroes, their time has not yet past. Both Fedor and Shogun still have some great fights left in them, I believe. However, the two must realize that MMA has evolved and they must evolve along with it. They both are lacking in the same department as well, their ground game. Interestingly, they both, at one time, sported strong ground games. In Fedor's case I would say exceptional. As styles of MMA have melded together, camps that focus on many martial arts grind out a new hybrid MMA fighter. However, these two men have been training with their respective, insular teams forever. MMA is mutating at way to quick a pace to rely on old practices. It is vitally important to drain every tidbit of knowledge one can to excel. A poster boy for such discipline, a graduate from the Pride era, Anderson Silva.
This is a whole new subset from the Pride era. I like calling them Pride graduates because even though they had some success in Pride their names were elevated elsewhere. Fighters such as Anderson Silva, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Nick Diaz, Gegard Mousasi. All of these fighters have evolved greatly since their Pride days and are at varying levels of increasing success. Some are already champions and some, I believe, will become champions very soon. With them Pride continues in a unique way. Not the same as the Legends, but those who learned from the Legends of the era.
Still, we do have Pride heroes that walk the MMA landscape and have something left. Dan Henderson, who represented the final days of Pride better than anyone perhaps, is still plying his winning ways. Page is still howling. Wanderlei Silva will be making his return to the cage soon as well.
Over and over we will hear the cry that Pride is finally dead, the final nail in the coffin has been impaled, on and on. I don't understand the need to constantly call for the final death knell of this brand. Do people call for the death of the ABA brand? I still see plenty of people rocking Dr. J's Converse sneakers. It is like the Monty Python bit "Bring out your dead."
Monty Python-Bring out your dead! (via HopelessRomantic27)
True, the Legends from the era have faltered, some have completely fallen. But, some still have chapters to be written. They need to adjust to today's world to have those chapters be befitting final chapters. No, Pride is not dead, but it does need a doctor or it may very soon will be. Till then PRIDE NEVER DIE!
PRIDE GP 2005 Final Round OP (high quality Ver) (via takadasoutou2008)