It seemed like the impossible was about to happen. New Zealand’s Mark Hunt (5-2) had the world’s greatest mixed martial artist closer to submission than any one could ever imagine. The stocky Samoan applied a wrist lock that had Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko within a second away of tapping out. The result would’ve stunned the MMA world.
Emelianenko looks more like a plumber then a ferocious mixed martial artist. He’s not a physically impressive specimen like the muscle-bound American fighter Mark “The Hammer” Coleman or the gigantic Bob Sapp who caused such a stir in Japan not long ago. In fact, he looks rather soft as far as world-class, dominating athletes are concerned.
Yet Fedor, as he’s known, is the most complete fighter in the world. His submission skills are quick and deadly and his striking is fast, furious and devastating. His record which stands at 25-1 and is a clear testament to his skills. His lone loss due to a cut in his bout against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka was fluky to say the least. Kohsaka cut the Russian with an unintentional elbow and the fight was stopped. The win was awarded to the Japanese submission fighter.
Fedor’s skills and resolve were tested against Hunt on PrideFC’s: “Shockwave” Pay Per View broadcast from Tokyo, Japan.
The fight started out with both men on their feet. Hunt flicking out a fast and powerful jab. Hunt is an incredibly fast striker with a kickboxing background who’s enjoyed success in K-1. Emelianenko took Hunt down and had a full guard going. It seemed like this was the beginning of the end since this is where Fedor is known to terminate his victims. Fedor went for an armbar but Hunt, showing much agility for a large man, was able to maneuver himself from his back and ended up on top of the Russian in a perfect position for the ground and pound to begin.
Fedor escaped the ground and both men ended up on their feet. He attempted a throw on Hunt but ended up on his back again. Hunt was now working the side mount where he attempted an arm lock. He had the lock on tight and Emelianenko seemed on the verge of tapping out. Emelianenko barely escaped but was still in a precarious position flat on his back. Hunt went for the armlock again but again was stopped short for the second time. Hunt fully mounted his opponent and tried to land some shots to his face. Emelianenko escaped Hunt’s grasp and got off the canvas coming forward and throwing punches as Hunt backed up into the turnbuckles.
Emelianenko struck Hunt before taking him to the ground where he went to work on submitting his opponent. He ended up on top where he positioned himself perfectly for an armlock that Hunt couldn’t escape. Emelianenko stopped the brave and rugged Hunt at 8:16 of round one in an exciting and classic confrontation. With the win, Fedor keeps his Pride Heavyweight title belt.
“I didn't have any special strategy but I could really feel the difference in weight, especially when he was on top of me,” the champion stated after the victory.
Nogueira avenges loss against Barnett
In Heavyweight action, Brazil’s Antonio Nogueira (29-4) defeated American Josh Barnett (20-5) by decision in a rematch of their first fight won by the Californian.
Barnett started off landing some nice strikes to Nogueira’s head. The fighters stayed on their feet for half of the first round as they exchanged everything from hard straights to knees. Barnett took Nogueira to the ground with a body slam and then punished him with some hard knees to his face. Nogueira reversed the position and ended up on top of Barnett dominating the rest of the round as he landed several hard punches from the guard. The first round was very tough to score but I gave Barnett the edge.
In the second round, the action started with both men on their feet, throwing punches along with occasional knees. Barnett showed some very good boxing ability as he landed some nice combinations. Nogueira took Barnett down but the American ended up on top and landed some nice shots that Nogueira absorbed well. The men went back to their feet with both trading evenly. Although Barnett had clearly won most of the round, Nogueira was trying to steal it back by increasing his punch output. The second round was clearly Barnett’s.
The third round came and Nogueira’s superior stamina was noticeable as he teed off on Barnett while both were on their feet. Nogueira landed hard straights along with some knees. Nogueira took Barnett to the ground and found himself trapped in a choke position that seemed perfectly locked in by Barnett. Nogueira’s skills paid off as he popped his head out of the hold. Nogueira worked Barnett over from the mount position as he landed several punches. Barnett escaped Nogueira and brought the action back to their feet. He was eventually brought back down for the remainder of the fight. The decision was awarded to Nogueira in a very tough and exciting fight where both men left everything on the mat.
“Shogun” Rua defeats Kazuhiro Nakamura by decision
One of Pride FC’s up and coming stars is Brazil’s Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (11-1) who’s considered one of the most complete fighters in MMA. His opponent Kazuhiro Nakamura is no slouch himself as he came into the bout with an 11 and 5 record.
The fight started with both men on their feet as Rua quickly backed his opponent into the turnbuckle and proceeded to land some hard knees to Kazuhiro’s thighs in an attempt to soften him up. Both men ended up in the middle of the ring where they squared up and traded punches. Rua finally took down Kazuhiro and ended up in the side mount position. Rua controlled the action on the ground and attempted a head choke. Nakamura got out of it but ended up taking a beating in the process. Rua dominated the rest of the round and attempted several chokes that Nakamura escaped.
In the second round, Rua put Nakamura in a body lock and pushed him into the turnbuckle once again. They were in a clinch as Nakamura stepped up the action by taking Rua down and then exchanging blows in a standing position. Rua took Nakamura down again and dominated the rest of the round.
The third round was almost a repeat of the second as Rua took down Nakamura repeatedly and mauled him. Rua rained down punches from the top mount. Nakamura finally woke up during the last ten seconds of the round and tried to land some haymakers. Not one of Rua’s best performances but he takes the decision and keeps his high standing in the light heavyweight division.
Lightweight Takanori Gomi defeated Mitsuhiro Ishida by first round TKO
Gilbert Melendez gets the decision over Tatsuya Kawajiri
Shinya Aoki beats Joachim Hansen in the first round by submission with a triangle hold.
Kiyoshi Tamura defeats Ikuhisa Minowa by first round stoppage at 1:18.
Akihiro Gono defeats Yuki Kondo by decision.
For more info go to www.pridefc.com.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV