Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pride Final Conflict Absolute

Just got done watching the Pride Final Conflict Absolute and must say it was a great show. Let me fist say I’m more a UFC fan the Pride although I have been catching up on my Pride with the FSN shows. I prefer the octagon cage to the ring. I just hate the whole move them to the center of the ring if they go under the ropes thing as well as the stomps and soccer kicks on the ground. Those scare the crap out of me. That said, here’s my thoughts on the Absolute Finals:

Mirko Cro Cop vs Wanderlei Silva- I admit these are my 2 favorite Pride fighters Cro Cop in particular. I haven’t seen enough of Vandy’s recent fights to truly judge his skills against the best fighters in the world but based on reputation, I expected more. I know there’s the size thing but it really isn’t all that significant. Cro Cop just destroyed him. This was far and away the most dominant Cro Cop has looked to me. He’s totally progressed from his days as a kick boxer to a MMA stud. That final kick was just ugly and scary.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Josh Barnett- Way too close to call and I honestly don’t know Pride judging criteria as well as UFC’s. Great, great fight though. I’ve gained a lot of respect for Josh Barnett even in his losses. I was in Vegas when he beat Randy Coture and was not impressed. His doughboy like physique fooled me into thinking him soft. He looked phenomenal in this tournament and he has the one attribute that will help get Pride over to more mainstream US fans. He cuts an awesome promo. Noguiera just seems impossible to beat via knockout or tap out. I’d love to see this fight again.

Alexander Emelianenko vs. Sergey Kharitonov- Like with Barnett, I probably let Alexander’s appearance belie his ability and also his size. He is a devastating striker. On the same hand Kharitonov should be dope slapped for his taunting and showboating as I had him winning the first round.

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Josh Barnett- This was simply Cro Cop’s night. I was impressed Barnett hung in there taking some crazy hard shots. Even without the war with Nogueira I don’t know if Barnett was beating Cro Cop on this night. I don’t know if anyone was.
This left me salivating for another Cro Cop/Fedor fight. For Cro Cop to be considered the best in the world he has to beat Fedor and I don’t know if I see that happening