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Pride: Bushido Vol. 10 review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on June 11, 2009, 6:54 AM

Pride: Bushido Vol. 10

Tokyo, Japan

-Your hosts are Mauro Renallo and Frank Trigg. They discuss the two main events – the Bushido champs Gomi and Henderson facing Aurelio and Misaki, and the Brazilian Top Team-Chute Boxe rivalry, perpetuated here by Paulo Filho vs. Murilo Ninja.

-Parade of fighters follows but for some reason, don’t know whether it’s the DVD edit or whether something was up on the night, but the screaming female announcer isn’t introducing them. Doesn’t seem right at all! In fact I think it’s the DVD edit as the crowd pop seems muted too, even when Gomi comes out.

Yves Edwards vs Seichi Ikemoto

Edwards took this fight on pretty short notice IIRC, looking to rebound as quickly as possible from his upset loss to Mark Hominick at UFC 58. I believe he was still under a joint UFC/Pride contract at this stage too as he returned back to UFC following this fight. Opponent Ikemoto, I know nothing about, sorry, outside of the fact that his hair makes him look like a character from a Final Fantasy video game.

Circle to begin and Edwards comes in with a combo. He blocks a high kick attempt as the feeling-out process continues. Another combo from Yves as Ikemoto throws out some fromt kicks. Flying knee from Ikemoto narrowly misses. Good punching combo from Edwards ends with him catching his leg on the rope on a high kick and slipping to his back, but he pops up right away. Another combo lands for Edwards and he follows with a body shot. Both men exchange some low kicks and continue to throw strikes, but neither man has really landed anything nasty just yet. Edwards finally nails him with a pretty clean combo but Ikemoto comes right back with a couple of kicks. Left hand from Yves tags him but Ikemoto recovers quickly. Ikemoto goes for a takedown but Edwards stuffs it and takes top position, where he works to pass to side mount pretty quickly. Yves steps over for full mount, but Ikemoto explodes from the bottom and escapes to his feet, where he lands a kick as they stand. Pair of left hands land for Edwards coming forward. Couple of leg kicks from Ikemoto to answer before Yves lands a heavy overhand left. Exchange continues and Edwards begins to take over later in the round, landing a brutal combo ending with a knee. Big uppercut lands for Yves and he ends the round with a right hook.

Second round begins and Ikemoto continues to throw out kicks. He shoots for a takedown, but Edwards blocks with a front facelock and delivers some knee strikes. Ikemoto comes back with some knees to the body, but Yves fires back with a hard combo that has Ikemoto backing up. Edwards looks like he’s taking over now, landing straight punches every time he’s throwing them. Nice left hand staggers Ikemoto. Ikemoto ends up being shoved to his back after looking to grab the plum clinch, and Edwards misses a stomp before the ref brings Ikemoto back up. Ikemoto attempts a diving leglock, but doesn’t get anywhere near it and Yves stands up and waits for Ikemoto to join him. They exchange standing again and Edwards gets the best of it, landing a left hand and a kick to the head. Ikemoto doesn’t back down and throws some combos of his own, and the fight ends with the striking exchange going on.

Decent fight actually. I’ve got the decision going to Edwards as I thought he landed the better strikes standing and dominated the short period they were on the ground. Judges agree and it’s a unanimous decision for Yves. Not as explosive as some of his older (pre-Hominick) fights but this was a fun opener.

Mitsuhiro Ishida vs Paul Rodriguez

Both of these men were making their Pride debuts, with American Top Team’s Rodriguez, a UFC veteran, facing Shooto veteran Ishida, whose only recent loss came at the hands of Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro which is not a shameful thing.

We begin and Rodriguez presses forward as both men look tentative. Ishida looks much smaller than him too, must say. They clinch up and Ishida uses the plum clinch to land some knees, before dropping to get a beautiful takedown. He passes to side mount as they hit the ground but Rodriguez quickly works back to half-guard. He works back to full guard as Ishida looks to posture up, and then stands out of the guard and drops some punches over the top. He passes to side mount again and as Rodriguez reverses up Ishida catches him in a tight standing guillotine and squeezes it in for the tapout.

Ishida looked excellent from start to finish in that one and the choke he caught Rodriguez in was beautiful. Great debut for the Japanese fighter.

Jens Pulver vs Kenji Arai

Pulver was originally set to face someone else here but I’ll be damned if I can remember who it was. I know Arai took the fight on very short notice though. Two mad haircuts here with Arai sporting cornrows and Jens a wild red Mohawk. And pre-fight Mauro solves the mystery and reminds us that it was Masakazu Imanari who was supposed to be fighting Jens. I’m sort of gutted now as seeing Pulver knock his head off would’ve been awesome.

Round One begins and Arai throws some strikes before Pulver catches a kick and forces him down, grabbing a front facelock where he lands some knees. They come back up and exchange some punches and knees and it’s a pretty open exchange with both men landing! Pulver actually gets wobbled by a combo momentarily but comes right back with punches of his own, and then grabs a clinch to slow things down a little. Big uppercut breaks for Jens. They continue to exchange and now Pulver lands a left hook that drops Arai to all fours! Knees to the head follow but Arai comes back to his feet, showing a lot of heart. They exchange WILDLY with both guys landing punches cleanly, but Pulver begins to cover up and avoid a lot of Arai’s shots while landing better counters of his own. Big left hand wobbles Arai badly and Pulver tries a left high kick, but Arai tumbles underneath it...and then eats a BRUTAL SOCCER KICK that causes the ref to fly in and stop it.

Wow, awesome fight, awesome ending. Both men just came in with reckless abandon and threw down, putting on a ridiculous pace from start to finish. For a late replacement Arai fought like a maniac but in the end Jens’s power was just too much for him. Hell of a brawl. Did I mention that I LOVE BUSHIDO?

Denis Kang vs Mark Weir

This was during the period where Pride and Cage Rage had a talent sharing agreement, and so England’s Weir was given a crack in Bushido after taking out Pride vets Kyosuke Sasaki and Akira Shoji in the British promotion. He was faced with a tough opponent in Kang though, a man on an eighteen-fight unbeaten streak, who was already 2-0 in Pride.

We get underway and they circle before Weir throws a hard head kick. Kang lunges for a takedown but Weir reverses and puts him on his back in side mount, but right away Kang slides into half-guard. Kang pushes off the hips and pops back to his feet, and from there they exchange WILD punches but Kang gets the better of it, stunning Weir and causing him to drop for a takedown. Kang grabs the head and delivers some brutal knees, and then drags him down and takes top position in the Brit’s guard. Kang drops some good punches down from the top, one particularly crushing right hand landing cleanly. He passes into side mount and then slides into full mount, but Weir bucks into half-guard. Kang immediately slides to side mount again though and lands a knee to the head. Weir scrambles back to half-guard but Kang mounts him again and lands some solid strikes before the Brit again scrambles to half-guard. Weir gets mounted again for a moment before working back to full guard this time, but Kang continues to work him over with strikes from the top. Kang stands and uses a brutal right hand to get into side mount, and from there Kang lands a knee to the head and Weir taps out. Looks like his eye socket might’ve been broken from the knee strike or something.

Still not sure from the replays what caused the tapout. Kang looked very good here, rocking Weir standing and when the fight hit the mat, he was in total control, looked comfortable throughout and passed Weir’s guard like it was butter. Kang was awesome at this stage.

Joachim Hansen vs Luiz Azeredo

This was the fight that had me most excited on paper, as Chute Boxe’s Azeredo had put on a pair of crazy fights with Takanori Gomi as well as a bonafide FOTYC against Luis Buscape in 2005, while Hansen is just one of those guys who seems to guarantee excitement every time he fights. Pre-fight Hansen is like, he thinks he’s crazy? I’ll show him crazy. WORD.

Bell sounds and Azeredo comes right out with a flying knee that narrowly misses. They’re exchanging right away here. Good leg kick and knees to the body from Azeredo. Azeredo throws a flurry and goes for the single leg, and despite Hansen showing some excellent balance Azeredo gets him down to guard. The Brazilian stands over him and takes a couple of upkicks, before dropping into the guard. Azeredo gets a mini-slam and then postures up to land some heavy punches, but Hansen pushes off and explodes to his feet. Flurry by Azeredo but Hansen walks through it and stuns him with a VICIOUS COMBO, dropping him to the mat! Hansen ends up in Azeredo’s guard and begins to open up with some brutal punches, hammering away as Azeredo turns for an armbar. INSANE MOMENT now as Hansen whacks him from the top and gives him a crazy stare, allowing Azeredo to hit him back before he answers with some more clubbing blows. These guys are MENTAL and I LOVE IT. Pace slows for a millisecond before Hansen stands over him and tries a stomp. Azeredo looks to explode to his feet, but Hansen hops over him and takes the back! He can’t get both hooks in though and Azeredo manages to escape into Hansen’s half-guard. Unbelievable elevator sweep right into an armbar follows from Hansen, but Azeredo manages to pull his arm free. Christ. Hansen gets to his feet but Azeredo lands a flurry and then gets the takedown. This time he avoids an elevator sweep and delivers a jumping stomp before firing down some punches, but then he uses the ropes to try another stomp and the ref steps in and calls time for the infraction, showing Azeredo the yellow card.

They restart and Azeredo throws a hard head kick that Hansen eats right up. Hansen with a left straight coming forward and the striking exchange continues. Another good left hand lands for Hansen. Nice low kick stepping forward for Azeredo, and they trade some punches with the Chute Boxe fighter landing a left hook. Knee strike narrowly misses for Hansen and Azeredo makes him pay with a combo. Nice body shot and flurry from Azeredo, and then both men throw out some feints and Azeredo lands a body kick, but Hansen answers by KILLING HIM DEAD WITH A SICKENING KNEE!~!

Holy shit. Brutal stuff; replay shows it landed largely with the top of the shin, which is one of the hardest bones in the body I believe. Fight was unbelievable, total FOTYC level stuff throughout, with some amazing exchanges on the feet, some great grappling sequences, and the ridiculous exchange of punches on the ground before the highlight reel finish. Just awesome, what more can you say?

Paulo Filho vs Murilo Ninja

Ah, the classic Brazilian Top Team-Chute Boxe rivalry explodes again! This time it was Murilo Ninja dropping to 185lbs – becoming the first guy in Pride history to fight in three different weight classes – to face BTT’s Filho, a guy who had always looked stellar but had never been tested against genuine competition. It’s pretty clear that Ninja is physically suited better to 185lbs, looking in the best shape of his life. And speaking of physical shape, Filho is JACKED here. Literally fucking huge.

Round One begins and Filho quickly closes the distance and clinches. He drops for a takedown and right away lifts Ninja into the air, getting the takedown. Ninja works back up quickly, but Filho slams him back down to guard. Filho stands over him and this allows Ninja to pop back up, as Mauro makes the easy mistake of calling Filho Arona. They clinch up again and exchange knees and then Filho gets a sweet headlock throw into side control! It looks like he’s going for the old Mark Coleman neck crank, but even Filho isn’t going to get a tap from that and Ninja escapes and scrambles to his feet. Ninja looks to strike and comes in swinging, but Filho gets hold of him again and slams him back down to side mount. Filho stands and as Ninja sits up he eats a couple of nasty soccer kicks to the head. Filho swings some punches then gets on him again, taking Ninja back down to guard. They come up again quickly, but Ninja slips on a knee attempt and ends up in guard again. Filho passes to half-guard, but Ninja uses a butterfly hook to kick him away. Filho lands a kick again as Ninja sits up though, and then grabs a front facelock. They break off and Ninja swings an overhand right, but Filho ducks it and takes him down again. Filho lands some punches from the top as Ninja gets a butterfly guard in, but Filho works a beautiful guard pass to side control. Knees to the body from Filho and he steps over to full mount. Ninja squirms and bucks from underneath as Filho lands some short punches, and then Ninja manages to scramble to a butterfly guard. Filho moves to side mount again and lands some more punches, but again Ninja works back to guard. Awesome pass from Filho into side mount again but he isn’t doing much damage, just controlling Ninja. Punches and hammer fists land for Filho from the side, and Ninja really just looks stuck on his back. With less than a minute to go Filho looks to turn into an armbar, but Ninja uses the opportunity to get onto his knees. Front facelock from Filho and he lands knees before putting Ninja on his back again to close the round. Totally dominant round for Paulo Filho.

Ninja comes out more aggressively to begin the second round, but its Filho who lands first with a right hook. Ninja backs up and Filho follows in with a flurry, not the most technical strikes but they’ve got power behind them. BIG slam follows and Filho immediately passes to side mount. Full mount from Filho but it only lasts a second as Ninja bucks and looks for an ankle lock. Filho’s having none of that and immediately settles back into the guard before hopping into side control again. Ninja manages to get guard back and pushes him away, but Filho is like a pitbull and he gets right back on him and puts him on his back again in the guard. Into half-guard and then Filho hops into side mount again. Hammer fists land for Filho and he lands some knees to the body too, and Ninja just has no way out of the position. Filho attempts the mount but Ninja blocks it with half-guard, and the fight ends with Filho wriggling into full mount again.

Decision clearly goes to Paulo Filho and there’s no bad judging here. This honestly wasn’t the most entertaining fight of all time as Filho did very little damage and Ninja never got anything off on his feet, but in terms of a technical standpoint Filho was awesome; his takedowns were unstoppable, and the control and guard passing he showed on the ground were tremendous. If this Filho had come over to the US – as opposed to the flabby shadow we actually got – he could’ve been a massive success as this game with elbows thrown in would’ve been perfect for the cage.

Akihiro Gono vs Dae Won Kim

No clue on the Korean dude I’m afraid, sorry. Just a random guy Pride bought in from DEEP from what I can gather. Gono though is nearly always fun to watch, and his last outing had seen him upset Daniel Acacio before falling prey to the right hand of Dan Henderson. Pre-fight sees Gono sporting an ILL purple, sleeveless hooded robe.

First round begins and Kim pushes forward looking to clinch. Gono tries to keep his distance, but Kim gets a nice takedown right into side mount. Knee to the head lands for the Korean but Gono manages to lock up half-guard. Kim stands over him and tries to deliver a stomp, and then settles back into the guard and lands some decent punches. Gono doesn’t really look hurt at all though, deflecting most of the shots with his hands and forearms. Gono is such a calm guy and despite being stuck in the corner with a guy punching at him like this he looks totally relaxed. Ref finally calls the restart and they circle with Gono landing a couple of punches, but Kim gets a clinch and hits a foot sweep down to half-guard. Kim seems pretty inactive from this position though, and Gono eventually sweeps him and reverses position, gaining top position in the Korean’s guard. Gono stands and lands a kick to the head, then tries a diving punch own into Kim’s half-guard. Couple of punches land for Gono and it looks like he’s setting something up on the left arm of Kim. Good elbows to the body from Gono. He looks like he has a kimura locked up on the far side, but Kim appears to grab his shorts to block and Gono goes to the knees to the face instead. Kim leaves his arm free again and Gono goes from a keylock to the full mount, landing punches before Kim gives his back. Gono drops some hammer fists, and then takes full mount again, and this time as Kim leaves his arm free Gono locks up a straight armbar for the tapout.

Decent fight and a good win for Gono, who in my opinion continues to be one of the more underrated fighters out there. Kim wasn’t brought back which was surprising as he fought well early I thought, but Gono’s experience on the ground proved to be too much in the end.

Phil Baroni vs Yuki Kondo

This was a big fight for Baroni as once again his back was to the wall after a disappointing loss to Ikuhisa Minowa at Bushido 9, and Kondo was bringing in a big reputation to his debut at 185lbs, after being outsized for the majority of his career at 205lbs. Of course I was picking Baroni by BRUTAL KNOCKOUT.

We get underway and Baroni unsurprisingly comes out SWINGING. He misses his early shots and Kondo gets a clinch, but Baroni breaks off and DROPS HIM WITH A BIG RIGHT HAND!~! NYBA closes in with some shots and it’s ALL OVER! BEST EVAH!~!

Seriously, how can you not love Phil Baroni? This is of course the guy who recently, and I quote, said geeks need to “quit playing video games and do steroids” if they want to pick up girls. Kondo got sparked in 25 seconds here. As is the rule with Baroni, if he lands early you’re screwed, and he landed early here. I love it.

Ikuhisa Minowa vs Giant Silva

I guess you could say this was the beginning of Minowa’s transition into the ‘Minowaman’ character, king of the freak show fights, as up to this stage he’d largely fought in genuine 185lbs contests (vs. Baroni, Sakuraba, Bustamante, et al). I still can’t believe Pride bought Silva back after the beating he took from James Thompson. It’s almost disturbing in a way. Size difference as you can imagine is ludicrous, but Minowa’s chosen to allow knees and kicks on the ground regardless.

Round One begins and it’s a slow beginning with both men circling and sizing each other up. Heh. Minowa then hits a forward roll into a single leg and gets Silva down, landing in half-guard. He quickly gets free into side mount and then has trouble freeing his arms from Silva’s massive grasp. Minowa finally gets settled into a full side mount and lands some elbows to the body, and then he opens up with some heavy knee strikes to the side. Minowa begins to combine the knees to the body with ones to the head as well, and the ref calls it there.

Ridiculous fight that should never have happened in the first place really. I mean yeah, Minowa beat on a giant, but it wasn’t like the big guy ever offered a threat to him – he was 1-5 in Pride coming into this – and where’s the honour in beating up a guy who just isn’t a real fighter? Maybe I have too much pity for the big lug, who knows? Thankfully this was the last time we’d see Silva in Pride.

Dan Henderson vs Kazuo Misaki

Annoyingly this is a non-title affair. I don’t get that at all. I mean sure you could have argued that Misaki didn’t deserve a title shot at this point, but who cares really, why not just let Hendo defend the belt anyway? What’s the point in having him win the title if he just carries it around? As for the fight itself, this was Misaki’s first Pride fight since a loss to Daniel Acacio at Bushido 8, and he was seen as a tough opponent for Henderson if not likely to be the guy to actually beat him.

Opening round begins and Henderson takes the center of the ring with Misaki circling around. Good low kick lands for Misaki but Hendo counters with the overhand right. Good leg kick by Henderson and then Misaki tries a takedown, but Hendo uses a whizzer and easily shrugs it off. They exchange some punches, before Henderson misses with a high kick but lands a nice spinning backfist! Misaki circles off, before Hendo comes wading in with a combo and the spinning backfist again. Misaki is staying really on the outside, dancing around a lot but he’s not being that aggressive. Short left hook from Henderson puts Misaki down, but as he tries to follow with a kick Misaki grabs the leg and uses it to get a takedown from a rear waistlock. Henderson spins over and tries a guillotine but Misaki pops free right away and winds up in Hendo’s half-guard. Misaki stands and gets a nice pass into side mount, but Hendo traps his right arm in between his legs to prevent punches. Misaki drops some knees to the body, and Henderson answers with knees from the bottom and elbows to the body. Misaki is landing some nice knees here though. Sudden explosion of energy sees Hendo pop to his feet, and he avoids a guillotine that causes Misaki to fall to his back. They come back to standing now and Henderson lands with a short uppercut before they swing wild punches that miss. Henderson wades in with some shots but doesn’t really hurt Misaki, and now things slow down a little. Three minutes remaining and Hendo gets aggressive again, hurting Misaki with a left hand in a trade that causes the Japanese fighter to wobble off balance. Another good left hook follows and then Hendo lands the BIG RIGHT HAND that sends Misaki crashing down! Henderson tries to pound away but Misaki’s head is under the bottom rope and he can’t really land, so he tries a stomp instead and Misaki grabs hold of the leg. He goes for a heel hook and ends up using it as a reversal to put Hendo on his back. Nice work from Misaki and he did excellently to recover from the knockdown, too. Henderson keeps a closed guard and Misaki tries to use a neck crank to open it, while landing some short hammer fists. Round ends in Hendo’s guard.

Between rounds there’s some hilarious dialogue from Trigg and Mauro, as Mauro says that Henderson has a tendency to get tired and it must be the Japanese air because he’s always well-conditioned, to which Trigg is like, stop being nice, it’s his conditioning and sometimes he goes too hard early and burns himself out. Ha, tell it like it is Frank!

Second round and Misaki is on his bike again, circling around with Henderson taking the center of the ring. Nice left hook and uppercut from Hendo as Misaki tries to pick him off from the outside. Fight slows up a little as they exchange combos with neither really landing clean, but after throwing one Henderson gets sent staggering back, not sure whether he got caught or he was just off balance to be honest. Hendo wades in and lands another big left hook, but Misaki takes it LIKE A MAN and seems okay. Good left body shot from Misaki and he begins to land some jabs too as Henderson tries to answer with heavy hooks. 90 seconds to go and they continue to exchange punches and now Henderson lands some clean shots, but Misaki comes back with a good head kick. Henderson begins to throw some haymakers with less than a minute to go, landing the left hook again but Misaki is a tough guy and comes back with a body shot and a kick to the liver. Henderson keeps pushing forward swinging though, causing Misaki to go on the retreat, and with 20 seconds to go Hendo lands a knee to the body and follows with a nice left-right. Both men continue to swing, and the fight ends with another exchange.

Close fight but I think Henderson’s got it based on doing more damage with the strikes that landed as well as being the more aggressive fighter. Plus he came closest to finishing things with the knockdown in the first. Misaki definitely acquitted himself well though. Judges score it a unanimous decision for Henderson, as I expected. Fight was excellent with some great standing exchanges, as Misaki proved to be much tougher than I personally had expected and took some really hard shots from Dan without going down outside of the one moment in the first round.

Takanori Gomi vs Marcus Aurelio

Like the previous fight this is non-title, and like I explained above it’s horribly frustrating. Name the last time UFC allowed a champ to do a non-title fight within their own weight class? It doesn’t happen unless someone fucks up at the weigh-in. As with Misaki, Aurelio was seen as a solid if not challenging opponent for Gomi. I mean, he had two wins on the bounce in Pride but Gomi was murdering like, everyone at this stage and it was hard to pick against him full stop.

Round One gets underway and Gomi circles off, throwing some feints out early. Both men throw out some punches but outside of the odd jab nothing really lands. Gomi closes him down and looks for the big left hand, but Aurelio ducks under it and hits a nice double leg takedown into half-guard. Aurelio works right away to pass the guard, and then looks to lock up an arm triangle as he forces his leg free. He lets the choke go and Gomi gets full guard back, but Aurelio continues to control him and peppers him with punches. Aurelio passes to full mount, and then locks up the arm triangle and slides off to the side! Gomi looks in DEEP TROUBLE as he struggles desperately, but this choke is TIGHT AS HELL and after one final struggle the champ passes out rather than tap out!

Jesus Christ. Did not expect that finish in a million years! Looked like something straight out of pro-wrestling as Gomi held on and even raised his arm up before going out. Granted, we hadn’t seen Gomi on his back for any extended period at this stage, but to get absolutely tooled on the ground like that was a real surprise. Perhaps he took Aurelio lightly, I don’t know, but this was a massive upset win for the American Top Team fighter as nobody had come close to beating Gomi in Pride up to this point and yet Aurelio put him away in under five minutes. Beautiful submission for the victory though, reminiscent of another great Brazilian fighter in Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro. And of course, this showed exactly why the non-title aspect of the fight was ridiculous as Aurelio really should’ve been crowned the new champion, and yet he was forced to walk away with nothing but the win, leaving Gomi – the guy he’d left unconscious on the ground – with the title.

-Highlight reel ala a UFC show ends things. It’s so odd too, since the buyout, to see ‘Executive Producer: Dana White’ on these Pride DVDs!

Final Thoughts....

I always preferred Bushido to the usual Pride shows once they really started concentrating on the lighter weight classes, and once again this was a tremendous card from Pride’s secondary show. Hansen-Azeredo is the icing on the cake as it’s a legit FOTYC and one of the best fights I can remember in Bushido, but really the whole card outside of the slightly slow Filho-Ninja and the pointless Minowa-Silva is great, with stuff like Henderson-Misaki, Pulver-Arai, and Kang-Weir especially standing out. Cap it off with a huge upset in the main event and you’ve got one of the best shows of 2006 in my opinion. Two thumbs up!

Best Fight: Hansen-Azeredo
Worst Fight: Minowa-Silva

Overall Rating: ****1/2

Coming Soon....

UFC: 94-98, Fight Nights 17-18, and TUF VIII Finale.
Pride: Shockwave 2006, 31, Bushido 11-13 and the Openweight Grand Prix.
WEC: 34-40.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.

Until next time,

Scott Newman:

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