Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pride OW Grand Prix

I know they announced the brackets a while ago, but I never commented so I figured I would chip in now. I'm incredibly disappointed. They have so many really talented fighters in that group of eight that I figured any matchups would be exciting to me. I was wrong. I'm not really intrigued by any of the fights Pride made. Mirko Cro Cop vs. Hidehiko Yoshida is a variation on so many Cro Cop fights we have already seen. I guess they are hoping Yoshida can take him down and submit him, but I don't see that happening. Yoshida can't use the same strategy against Wanderlei. There he pressed the action to get Silva off his game. But Cro Cop is a counter striker, and pushing the action against him will allow him to time his strikes and KO Yoshida. Wanderlei Silva vs. Kazuyuki Fujita is again a variation on the same Silva vs. Japanese feud we have seen forever. If Fujita wins it will be by taking Silva down and neutralizing him, which won't be fun. It's a fight with the potential for both men to look bad. Mark Hunt vs. Josh Barnett has the potential to be the best of the four, but we will see. Barnett has been willing to trade some with strikers before trying to ground it, but he's going to have to be careful here. Hunt has shown good takedown defense, and this is a tough fight for him as he tries to continue his winning ways and build up a fight with Fedor. Finally, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum should be an interesting test of Nogueira's submissions against another world class guy, but that could result in a defensive fight. The best strategy for Nog may be to use his boxing skills, but that also likely wouldn't be that great. So I think these matchups are kind of a disappointment. It will still probably end up a good show, though.


Anonymous Josh Amendment said...

I think you may be underestimating Yoshida. If he can get the clinch, he can certainly take Mirko down, and we know Mirko can be submitted on the mat. I actually think Yoshida will have an easier time setting up submissions than Nogueira did, because for all his formidable skill, Nog's takedowns kind of suck.

That's not to say that I think Yoshida is the favorite or anything - he could very well get knocked out in thirty seconds, but I think he has a legitimate chance here.

11:53 AM  

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