Monday, September 11, 2006

Pride Final Conflict

Great show. I hope we aren't towards the end of loaded Pride shows like this, because this reminded me what I love so much about Pride. Just a really loaded show with all sorts of top fighters. I can't say seeing Cro Cop wrecking Wanderlei was all that surprising from a logical standpoint. Wanderlei was able to hang with Cro Cop years ago, but Cro Cop at that point was much worse on the ground and in takedown defense. That made it easier for Wanderlei to neutralize him, and it also made him less confident to let loose with kicks. Here there were no such reservations. That said, it was still viscerally stunning to see Wanderlei beaten that badly standing. And for the people speculating, no, I don't think Chuck would stand much of a chance against Cro Cop. Cro Cop is on a different level of striking than anyone Chuck has ever beaten. Nog vs. Barnett was a hell of a fight. Very close, but I thought Nog deserved the decision. He was able to get Barnett in better positions and I thought his arm bar attempt was the closest to the finish in the entire fight. That said, it's hard to argue with Barnett because it was really close. Perhaps I was just more interested in the Nog-Cro Cop rematch than Barnett-Cro Cop III after a relatively lackluster I and II. The undercard also had a bunch of impressive performances, with Cyborg looking good and Arona showing some great leg kicks. I was disappointed in Kharitonov, who has been very inconsistent in his MMA career. I think he's capable of a lot better than he has shown. I'm looking forward to Pride's US debut.


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