Pride 25: Body Blow feat. Fedor, Big Nog, Rampage, Randleman, Hendo, Sakuraba, Spider Silva et al

Time's the thief of memory

― Stephen King, The Gunslinger

We begin with Stephen and Bas just hitting the heavy bag, a couple of dudes being dudes and talking shit about the upcoming fights, when none other than Wanderlei Silva comes up and demands Bas remove his Pride gloves and give them to Wanderlei. In a pants-pissing hurry, Bas acquiesces. It’s a pretty funny bit actually. Bellator should get into the skit game (I know the UFC won’t do it); Coker lacks that comedic timing, but Chael and Mauro could be genius.

The show this week, March 16, 2003’s Pride 25: Body Blow, is coming from Yokohama, possibly where the next RIZIN show will be. (The last cancelled RIZIN show was supposed to be in Yokohama.) From where I live in Tokyo it’s probably easier for me to get to Yokohama than Saitama so I’d just as soon see a show there than the Super Arena - that’s if I decide to brave the first show back from pandemic hiatus. While it’s been nice to have the UFC back, and there were some great fights during that first Corona Week, I’d really like ONE and RIZIN get going again, if just for my Circadian rhythms. These upcoming "Fight Island" cards are about the worst possible time zone for Japanese viewing. But enough of my sleep habits, let’s get on with it.

Rogerio Noguera AKA Lil Nog vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura

In the first bout Nakamura threatens to wear a gi, but thankfully takes it off; he’s a beefier dude than your average Japanese fighter. Despite being his first MMA fight, he gets a nice early takedown on Nog. Fairly entertaining from Nakamura, but Nog has by far superior striking. In the second, Nog pulls out the wicked armbar.

Alex Stiebling vs Akira Shoji

It’s Mr. Pride vs the young American. Shoji is a straight Pride OG, having fought in the first several events and matched up against a who’s who of early MMA. He’s got a young Matt Hume in his corner. Stiebling lost to Anderson Silva in his last Pride fight. It starts off kickboxing but Shoji gets Stiebling down and Bas and the ref are calling for action. Now they’re telling uninteresting anecdotes about Stiebling. Bas and Stephen clearly love Stiebling, but then Shoji starches lil Alex and starts pounding on him and they are dismayed. Then Stiebling flips the script and gets Shoji in a choke! Shoji survives! Wow, this round just got nuts! Okay, okay, I can’t find this fight online so let me rip this round real quick… a moving picture is worth 1,000,000 words. A wild five minutes.

Round 3 is Steibling piecing up Shoji. Pretty interesting fight really. Shoji wrestlefucks the first, the second is bonkers, Alex strikes all the way in the third. Oh! Split decision to Mr. Pride, who is crying in the ring. Bad call IMO. That was a weird and wild one for sure.

Anderson Silva vs. Carlos Newton

Carlos Newton’s another old school OG who somehow bounced back and forth between Pride and the UFC in the late nineties – early aughts. We all know who Anderson Silva is, though he’s a bit sneaky here with the goatee like Evil Spock. Anderson is being super cautious about the takedown to start and so gets clipped with a left then taken down. Damn, Anderson in full mount and getting pounded on, but gets back to guard. Anderson’s working okay off his back, but neither appears to be doing much. Bas agrees with me and suggests the restart. The ref agrees as well. OMG, that was a knockout!

For the rest of this great event, including Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kevin Randleman, Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Fedor Emelianenko come on over to FIGHT PROSE.

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