Fight Prose: Pride 2000 Grand Prix Finals

After a whambang show in the opening round of the Pride Grand Prix 2000, we arrive at the Finals. The first round gave us some great fights – some even resembling what we can see as modern MMA twenty years later – and continued Pride on a helluva run into the MMA stratosphere. In many ways this event feels like the beginning of that run. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

The intro is insane. I feel like I’m at a super aggressive Gathering of the Juggalos: White Zombie Muscle Beach. The first fight of the night is UFC 1 winner Royce Gracie vs. ever-quirky hall-of-famer Kazushi Sakuraba. As I mentioned inthe last installment of Fight Prose, they’d have to match Royce up carefully in this round so as to not get him killed: Sakuraba is the best choice for that as the smallest, least heavy-hitting competitor. (At this point, Sakuraba is not yet known as the Gracie-killer, though he had recently killed a Gracie.) In the early going, Royce is going for submissions while Sakuraba looks unthreatened throwing the occasional punch. He gets in position for a weird half-outside the ring armbar. Rorian is complaining and the commentators offer, "There’s no rules!" In fact, there are some rules, notably that this fight can literally go on forever… (fight continues here)


I’ve been wondering what to do with this Fight Prose writing and this morning while listening to Bronski Beat I got the idea to set up a substack. Anyhow, it’s set up now and I’m committed to weekly content, so please sign up, read, and comment. Also, there’s a new Fight Prose exclusive Twitter.

So, if you’d like to read about the rest of the Sakuraba v. Gracie fight along with the rest of the card, please make the transition over to the Fight Prose substack. Thank you!

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