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Black Tiger MMA Review: PRIDE 7 (9.12.99)

April 3, 2010 | Posted by Mike Campbell

September 12, 1999

Matsui is looking for his first win in PFC after losing to Carlos Newton at PRIDE 6 and having two draws at PRIDE 3 and PRIDE 4. In terms of action this is a very busy fight, Matsui is the grappler and Bob is the striker, but they both get to show that they’re not inept at the other. Matsui is usually able to take Bob down at will, but Bob is able to pull off several quick escapes when Matsui tries to finish him off, the best one being the attempted armbar. On the flip side, Matsui rocks Bob several times, and even surprises him with a jumping stomp while Bob is down. There are also fun moments like Matsui taking down Bob so hard that Bob actually falls out of the ring. It’s too bad that Bob couldn’t follow the rules, his nickname is “Dirty Bob,” he gets a his first yellow card for kicking Matsui while he’s on all fours, the second is from a right hook before the ref told them to resume the fight, and the third is for an axe kick after the round ended which is enough to get “Dirty Bob” disqualified. I’m sure Matsui didn’t want his first win to come that way.

In terms of action, this is considerably less exciting than the previous fight. But, if one enjoys when fighters show their technique, then this is right up there in terms of excitement. Malenko knows that he’s not going to win by trading shots with Silva so he quickly takes Silva down, and although he takes three knees to the head, he manages to take him down and force Silva to go into his guard. They spend most of the round in the guard, but the fight is never boring, Silva throws punches at Malenko’s head, and Malenko fights to keep Silva grounded. Silva escapes and gets a front choke, but isn’t able to get the hooks in. Silva tries to finish him with knees, but Malenko manages to block almost all of them. Silva is able to take Malenko’s back with thirty seconds to go, but, again, Malenko is able to fend him off until the round ends.

The second round is more of the same, although it’ s not nearly as exciting, most likely because Malenko was exhausted. Malenko eats a couple of big knees, but he’s able to suck them up and get Silva into the guard for a long time. Malenko seems to be trying to get into position to attack, but Silva is able to cut him up. Malenko goes for the win when he tries to fall back and apply a heel hook, but isn’t able to get the hold. Malenko tries to create some distance, but that only allows Silva room to throw strikes. Silva, once again, takes Malenko’s back and attempts a rear naked choke, Malenko gets a nice escape as the fight ends, but it’s too little too late and Silva wins by unanimous decision.

This is total domination by Inoue, he takes Tully to the mat, wraps himself around him and doesn’t let go until Tully taps out. He initially tries for a choke with his gi, but can’t get it on. Tully tries to push him off, so Inoue gets the arm and falls to the side with a picture perfect juji-gatame and Tully gives it up.

The fight starts off with them dancing a bit, not surprising since they’re both kickboxers, and then Branko takes Smith down in a headlock, only for Maurice to do a beautiful reversal and get a top position on Branko. Maurice is able to easily control Branko on the mat. They get to their feet and wind up in a clinch, where Branko seems to have problems understanding that he can’t hold the ring ropes, he quickly gets two yellow cards for doing so. They move into the center of the ring and Maurice takes him down and gets a choke by pressing his forearm against Branko’s throat and wins via tap out.

Stephen informs us that Shoji has competed in every PFC event, and then proceeds to explain that he’s fought in PRIDE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and now 7 – just in case we’re not sure what he meant when he said every event. Aside from that though, Stephen’s commentary for the fight is fine. He constantly mentions how Shoji is very good at hustling, which he is. Shoji manages to stay in control for almost the entire fight, controlling Parker on the mat, and several times having Parker flat on his back and unable to get up. Actually side from a nice up kick while he was on his back, and a couple of attempted high kicks, there isn’t much offense out of Parker. He’s mostly on defensive, and that’s good enough for him to survive the round.

The bulk of the second round is spent in Parker’s guard, they literally spend half the round in the guard, casually trading punches, and then Parker explodes out of nowhere with an armbar attempt and when Shoji escapes he attempt a kneebar. Back to the guard and Parker’s head touches the ropes, causing the ref to reposition them. The ref stands them up and this time it’s Shoji who explodes with a left hook and tries to finish off Parker, Parker shoves him into the ropes and goes back into the guard to end the round. The judges declare a tie, so it’s a third round tiebreaker.

Shoji comes flying out the gate again, trying to finish off Parker with punches, and they go into the guard. To their feet and it’s more of the same, Shoji tries to finish him off and Parker goes into the guard. Even his corner is telling Parker that he needs to pick up the pace and do more. Just like the first round, Parker is able to hang on until the bell rings, but, to no surprise, the judges give the fight to Shoji.

Macias connects with several kicks early on, including a head kick, but isn’t able to cause any real damage. Sakuraba tries to take Macias to the mat, but Macias is able to block the takedown and get a top position. Sakuraba escapes and gets a side mount, looking for an armbar. He finally gets the opening, but he hesitates and Macias is able to escape his grip. Sakuraba takes Macias back to the mat with a suplex and looks to jump on him, but fakes him out and hits a sliding kick. Macias gets the guard and Sakuraba throws some punches, Macias tries his own armbar but Sakuraba escapes. Sakuraba again tries for the jump, but Macias nicely blocks it and the round ends.

Round 2 is every bit as exciting and generally fun as the Round 1. Sakuraba tries for a spinning back kick and Macias avoids it and tries to take his back, Sakuraba attempts a Kimura to counter, so Macias tries for a choke, Sakuraba attempts to counter that with a rolling armbar. Sakuraba gets top position in a side mount and look for the same armbar that he lost in the first round, he gets it this time and Macias tries to roll to counter, but he’s too late and has to tap out. This is the sort of fight that PRIDE is all about, it’s not just about winning and losing, but how hard one fights.

I guess you could call this the Battle of the Unbeatens Kerr is 4-0 and Igor is 2-0, so one of them is losing tonight. Kerr and Igor start out trading fists, and Igor gets the better of Kerr, almost knocking him on his ass, so Kerr quickly takes Igor down and they go into his guard. They spend more or less the whole round there, with Kerr doing as little as possible and Igor throwing punches at Kerr’s head and ear. Aside from an attempted ankle lock or heel hook, there’s nothing at all in the way of action from Kerr. I don’t like to keep my own scores, but if I did this would probably be 10-9 Igor. Kerr may have had dominant position the whole fight, but Igor was the one supplying almost all of the action, and, despite having dominant position, Kerr inflicted no real damage himself.

Kerr tries to take Igor down, but Igor sprawls to block it, Kerr gets a double leg and they go back into Igor’s guard, and it’s just like the first round, Igor throwing punches and Kerr doing very little. Igor gets Kerr in the north-south position and starts to throw knees to the head and the ref stops it, giving Igor the KO win. Kerr cries foul, and the replay shows that the first knee was clean, but the second and third were fouls because Kerr was on all fours. The show proper ends with Igor being declared the winner, but it was later ruled no contest.

The 411: As a whole, this is quite the fun event. Sakuraba/Macias stole the show easily, but most the fights were enjoyable for various reasons.
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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