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Black Tiger MMA Review PRIDE 10: Return Of The Warriors (8.27.00)

April 27, 2010 | Posted by Mike Campbell

August 27, 2000

After a slow start that involves them circling one another, this finally picks up, and it gets good in a hurry. Belfort takes Matsui down and winds up getting his back and starts unloading with punches on him. Matsui gets in the guard to stop that onslaught, but Belfort passes and continues his annihilation. It’s pretty gross, actually, Matsui’s face is a bloody mess. But, to his credit, he doesn’t back down, and tries to continue defending himself. The end of the round stops the brutality.

The second round is substantially less exciting. They do another long circling bit to start, even the ref gets on them to get fighting. Belfort takes Matsui down, but Matsui gets the guard and that’s more or less the whole round. Belfort tries to punch and Matsui keeps a clinch so that he can’t get any momentum. They get into the ropes and the ref pulls them back. Matsui does make one submission attempt, but Belfort easily escapes. The round ends and Belfort wins the decision.

Although this is short, this is a lot of fun. Just looking at the match up, you’d probably guess that Mezger would get destroyed, but he managed to impressively hold his own. This is probably best described as being busy yet tentative. Both Silva and Mezger carefully pick their spots when they go attempt a punch or a kick. Mezger impresses by surprising Silva and opening up his eye a bit, and also being able to escape the clinch before Silva can do serious damage. But, with Silva, if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile. Mezger opens himself up and Silva rocks him with a shot and tries to finish, but Mezger is able to get his marbles together. He makes the same mistake a minute later and gets rocked and Silva keeps the headbutts and punches coming and is able to finish the fight.

Between the huge Afro and the back hair, it’s hard to take Okada seriously, and his performance here didn’t do anything to really change that. Rodriguez gets some shots in, and Okada sprawls when Rodriguez shoots in, but Rodriguez powers him up and slams him down. Rodriguez passes his guard and goes for a legbar, which Okada escapes, but that’s the best he can do, is stop Rodriguez from winning. Rodriguez gets him back down, and tries for a mount and Okada gives him his back. Rodriguez tries to win with the rear naked choke but can’t get the hooks in all the way and settles for a front choke.

They size up each other and circle, and then Yvel levels Goodridge with a head kick and KO’s him in less than thirty seconds.

This is another quick one. Borisov tries the Yvel method and Kerr takes him down, but Borisov is smart enough to keep the gap closed so that Kerr can’t smash him. Kerr settles for a can opener neck crank about two minutes in for the win.

It starts off hot and heavy, with both of them swinging wildly, and neither connecting all that much. They go to the mat and Igor continues to try to punch Inoue out while Inoue tries to tie Igor up and tap him out. Inoue runs out of gas rather quickly and spends most of the round avoiding Igor’s big shots and trying to keep him from swinging and the occasional submission. Igor gets a second wind toward the end and goes back to unloading, but Inoue lasts the round. It’s too little too late, because the fight winds up being stopped for Inoue’s own good.

This looked to be an easy win for Shamrock, he was able to rock Fujita early on and make his nose bleed. A second flurry from Shamrock caused Fujita to lose his mouthpiece, and then Shamrock sunk in a guillotine choke and it looked all over, with Fujita turning blue. Shamrock’s two problems were his apparently lack of understanding the rules, he got a yellow card for the holding the ropes, and then did so again a bit later, with his team screaming at him not to. An accidental headbutt winds up causing Shamrock to instruct his corner to throw in the towel.

This is Gracie’s MMA debut and he’s taking on a somewhat well known Japanese pro wrestler, not unlike one Kazushi Sakuraba. Gracie charges in double legs Ishizawa down, Gracie patiently wants for Ishizawa to work his way up and then unloads with a barrage of punches and the ref jumps in and calls it.

For those keeping score, Sakuraba has so far beaten two Gracies, Royler and Royce. The first round is very even, Sakuraba and Gracie mostly trade leg kicks. It’s a bit like Silva/Mezger, in that it’s both busy and tentative, but they’re both great about knowing just the moment to throw the strike. Sakuraba gets a bit of an advantage when a Gracie takedown attempt goes bad and Gracie is on his back and eating leg kicks, much like Royler was at PRIDE 8. Gracie gets to his feet and they pick up where they left off. Sakuraba gets a nice fakeout when he seems to be going for a double Mongolian chop, but gets in another leg kick. They wind up in a clinch and Sakuraba is perfectly calm, not doing anything to open him up for an attack, the ref separates them and the fight resumes. The round ends with neither man especially looking worse for wear.

The second round starts off hot and heavy with Gracie shooting right in, but, again, Sakuraba avoids the takedown and Gracie winds up on his back and having to take Sakuraba’s leg kicks. Sakuraba fakes him out with a feint jump and then tries to do a sliding kick, but Gracie blocks. Sakuraba, ever the showman (as well as awesome fighter), also tries to cartwheel around Gracie for an armbar. Gracie gets back to his feet, but they’re back on the mat rather quickly, with Sakuraba passing guard almost as soon as Gracie gets the guard, and Gracie can’t do much besides try to hold him close to stop him from doing anything. Gracie seems to have things well at hand when he gets Sakuraba’s back, but Sakuraba spins out into a Kimura, and like Royler, doesn’t tap out, but the ref calls it. The replay shows that Gracie actually dislocated his elbow when he went down, which caused the stoppage.

The 411: The only mark against this is the lackluster Belfort/Matsui fight, once that's out of the way it's clear sailing all the way.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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