Pride: Bushido Vol. 11 review
by Scott Newman(MMA)
Posted on June 14, 2009, 3:11 PM
Pride: Bushido Vol. 11
-Short highlight video starts us off. Surprising to see the word ‘Honor’ and then a clip of Gomi KOing Azeredo and having to be forcibly pulled off him by the referees, that’s for sure!
-Your hosts are Mauro Renallo and Frank Trigg. They talk about the Welterweight (185lbs in Pride, so UFC MW basically...) Tournament and then pay tribute to the late Ryan Bennett who passed away just before this show. Back to the tournament for a second, it was my opinion at this stage that the tournaments were played out in Pride (we’d had one in 2003, one in 2004, THREE in 2005 and the Openweight GP was already taking place in 2006) but this one was probably the freshest in a while as they had a mix of proven talent and newcomers in the line-up and the original 185lbs tourney in 2005 had been the weakest one anyway. They don’t mention it pre-show but the reason for only seven first round matches was that Dan Henderson, as the champ and tournament winner last time out was given a bye into the next round.
-Into the arena for the fighter intros and once again like on the Bushido 10 DVD they kill the audio with the ring announcer for some reason.
Classic striker vs. grappler match in the opening fight of the tournament then, with Russian kickboxer Suloev taking on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Bustamante. Despite Suloev riding a two-fight win streak, Bustamante was the clear favourite as many people (including myself) thought he’d come off on the wrong end of a bad decision in the Welterweight Title fight against Dan Henderson at Shockwave ’05.
We’re underway and Bustamante pumps out a couple of straight rights before going for a takedown, which Suloev stuffs. Nice combo by Suloev and he avoids another takedown. Murilo is really telegraphing his shots so far. Left jabs and some low kicks from Suloev, but Bustamante comes back with another straight right. Bustamante is really stalking Suloev here, pressing forward but he’s not actually landing much, and then Suloev lands the best shot of the fight thus far, a left hook to the body. Suloev lands some more strikes and then the ref calls time for what looks like an accidental headbutt, cleaning up a cut over Bustamante’s left eye. They restart and Bustamante pushes forward again, but once more Suloev shrugs off a takedown attempt and forces Busta to stand. Busta continues to push the action but Suloev remains in retreat mode, dancing around the ring and throwing out counters. This is a slow fight so far. Nice left hook from Suloev and a crisp one-two follows. Suloev drops his hands momentarily and Bustamante lands a combo, but he still can’t get Suloev to the ground. Round continues with Bustamante pushing the action but Suloev landing the cleaner counters. That round was seriously dull but I think Suloev landed the better shots overall.
Second round begins and Suloev lands a leg kick and a right hand. Good combo follows for Suloev as they circle around. Busta comes back with a couple of combos of his own and blocks two head kicks. Strong leg kick from Suloev as Bustamante continues to stalk forward, and then the ref calls time to fiddle with Murilo’s glove. They restart and Suloev lands with another leg kick, and as Bustamante comes forward Suloev DECKS HIM WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH! Suloev decides to stand over him and kick the legs rather than risk entering Busta’s guard, and then the ref calls the Brazilian up to his feet. Bustamante really pushes forward now but Suloev remains on the outside and avoids all the power shots. Deep double leg attempt from Bustamante, but Suloev shows some impressive takedown defense to avoid. Bustamante keeps pushing forward, but just can’t seem to do a thing to Suloev and the fight ends shortly after.
Judges score it as a unanimous decision for Amar Suloev; big upset as Bustamante had to be one of the early favourites coming in based on his previous tournament performance. Still, it wasn’t an exciting fight as Bustamante showed aggression but couldn’t get anything off, while Suloev landed some decent counters but never got too aggressive and didn’t really push the action. This was probably the high point of Suloev’s career when you consider how highly ranked Bustamante was at the time. As for the Brazilian this would be the start of a bit of a career slide for him.
Frenchman Bouchelaghem was coming in on late notice to replace judoka Yoon Dong Sik, and hilariously Mauro tries to pump his credibility up by telling us he has a win over “reality TV star Ross Pointon”. Way to not mention the competition, Mauro! He’s also inexplicably wearing a tie in the ring introductions and keeps it on during the staredown. No idea why. Filho though had been pegged as an early favourite to take the whole tournament and was massively favoured over the lanky Frenchman, despite giving up a silly amount of height and reach.
Bell sounds and Filho comes charging right out of the gate and puts Bouchelaghem down with a front kick to the gut! The Brazilian follows down into his guard and quickly passes to side mount. He looks to work to full mount but Bouchelaghem does a good job of blocking it. Finally Filho hits a great step-over into full mount, and rains down some shots to the back of the head as Bouchelaghem clings on. Filho really opens up with punches, but Bouchelaghem does an excellent job of bucking his hips and escaping out the back door! Filho quickly charges in though and grabs him, working for another takedown. Bouchelaghem blocks momentarily but Filho lifts him and gets a slam down to guard. The Frenchman goes for a triangle from his back, but Filho’s not having that and he shrugs it off and passes to side mount, where he pounds at the body before mounting. High mount for Filho and again he slug at the head as the Frenchman clings on. BIG punches begin to land for Filho as Bouchelaghem does little more than cover up. To be fair a lot of the punches are being deflected though. Filho goes for a straight armlock and that allows Bouchelaghem to get back to half-guard, but Filho quickly slips back out into side mount. Back to full mount with relative ease now, and this time it looks like Filho’s setting up for an armbar. He decides against it though and just keeps position, and surprisingly the referee stands the fighters from the mount position and shows Bouchelaghem the green card. Restart, and Filho closes the distance instantly, gets a bodylock and leg sweeps him to guard. Quickly into half-guard for Filho and the round ends in that position. Total domination for Filho but again it was more a case of controlling than damaging.
Round Two, and Bouchelaghem throws out some kicks, but Filho manages to close the distance and goes for a takedown. This time Bouchelaghem blocks it and throws Filho off with a knee and a right, but Filho gets right back on him with a double leg and gets him down into side mount. He looks to work for a kimura but Bouchelaghem grabs his own shorts to block and Filho abandons it. Bouchelaghem gets his way back to half-guard to block a mount attempt, and the ref stands them up shortly after. Ref shows both men the green card, and then they restart and exchange a couple of kicks before Filho gets double underhooks and hits an inside leg trip to half-guard. Filho looks to pass, but Bouchelaghem does a good job of blocking and keeps the Brazilian in his guard. Bouchelaghem actually tries to hook up a kimura now, but Filho easily avoids it and slugs at the body. Nice guard pass by Filho into side mount, and he attempts the straight armlock on the bell.
Judges give it unanimously to Filho, which isn’t exactly surprising. This was basically a carbon copy of Filho’s fight with Murilo Ninja at Bushido 10, with Filho showing unbelievable takedowns and ground control, but little in the way of damaging strikes or submission attempts from the positions he got. A little frustrating and not the most entertaining fight but I guess Filho got the job done again.
Longtime KOTC champ Villasenor had been looking to break into the big leagues for some time, and after rumors of him possibly joining the UFC fell through, he ended up entering into this tournament, riding a massive fifteen-fight winning streak including wins over Jorge Santiago and French street fighter Damien Riccio. Chonan meanwhile had been training with former conqueror Dan Henderson at his Team Quest South camp in order to bounce back from losses to Hendo and Phil Baroni, and looks to have added quite a bit of muscle to his frame since joining them.
First round begins and they circle tentatively, exchanging some early strikes. Neither man really gets the better of it and they clinch up, exchanging some knees and muscling for position. Ref breaks them up and Chonan lands a beautiful body kick. Nice left hook from Villasenor wobbles Chonan but he recovers quickly. Exchange continues and Joey lands an overhand right. Spinning backfist lands glancingly for Villasenor but Chonan takes it and answers with a knee to the gut. Few decent leg kicks land for Chonan but Villasenor catches him with another right hand down the pipe. Good body kick again from Chonan. He follows with a flying knee and a good right hand, but Villasenor seems fine. Good left from Chonan and they clinch, where Chonan opens up with some knees to the thighs and body. Takedown from Villasenor follows down into Chonan’s guard. Joey stands to attempt to pass, and then lands a soccer kick to the head. He drops back into the guard before standing to deliver some strikes from the top. Good left hand from a standing position into the guard for Villasenor, and then he stands over Chonan until the ref brings him up. Good leg kick and a HARD overhand right land for the Piranha and then Villasenor swings his way back into the clinch. Takedown from Chonan into Villasenor’s guard, and he slugs away with punches and a soccer kick before taking the back to close out the round.
2nd round and they exchange combinations into the clinch, where they exchange knees again. Ref breaks them off and Chonan lands a nice punch-kick combo, but Villasenor comes back with a right hand. Right hook lands for Chonan and he clinches again, but falls to his back on an attempted throw and Villasenor ends up on top in half-guard. Shoulder strikes from the top for Joey but he stands up and Chonan manages to pop up quickly. Good right hook from Chonan. Big body kick from Joey but Chonan catches the leg and tackles him to the ground in full guard. He passes to half-guard and tries to pass to side control, but Villasenor blocks and then lands some upkicks, trying to scramble out, but Chonan keeps top position in the guard. Chonan tries to pass, but Villasenor uses the opportunity to reverse to his feet. One minute to go and they swing some bombs at one another before Villasenor stuffs a takedown. Right high kick from Villasenor and they continue to exchange strikes. Chonan tries a takedown, blocked by Joey and he ends up on top, and with seconds to go Villasenor slugs away and then stands and lands a big stomp! Fight ends with Villasenor punching inside Chonan’s guard.
Very close fight and I honestly have no idea how I’d score it. I think I’d maybe go for Villasenor for the very late aggression but it could go either way. Judges score it as a split decision for Chonan, which is a fair result I guess. Fun fight for the most part with a couple of slow moments in the first round. Both men did a good job here.
Armenian born Mousasi was a total unknown at this point pretty much, being plucked from nowhere to take part in this tournament, although he did have an impressive record of 12-1-1. He’s also, at just 20, one of the youngest guys I can recall fighting in Pride. Opponent Takimoto meanwhile had the worst record of anyone in the line-up (2-2) and even unknown I expected Mousasi to wipe the floor with him. Takimoto’s sporting the full gi here.
First round begins and they swing some punches before Takimoto gets hold of him and looks for the takedown. Mousasi grabs the ropes to block, but Takimoto pulls him to the ground anyway and moves to half-guard. It looks like he’s going for an arm triangle for a second, and then he tries an armbar as Mousasi reverses and gets it fully extended! Mousasi looks ready to tap momentarily but somehow manages to wriggle free and takes the back with both hooks! Mousasi begins to punch at the head from back mount, before working for the rear naked choke. His arm is more over the face than the throat though and he can’t sink it in, so he goes back to just pounding the head instead. Great control using the hooks from Mousasi. Mousasi continues to land punches from the back mount position until the referee calls a break. Both men get the green card, but then the ref spots a large lump around Takimoto’s right eye and after some checks the doctors throw the fight out there. Broken eye socket apparently.
Not much of a fight if I’m honest but Mousasi’s armbar escape was phenomenal and he showed tremendous control from the back position. Very impressive debut for the youngster.
Talk about ridiculous logic. So Aurelio chokes out the champion, Takanori Gomi, in a non-title match on the previous show, but rather than match him with Gomi again with the title on the line he’s faced with a basically unknown (albeit very, very tough) opponent in Ishida. See, this is why, despite having some great fighters, Pride was just never as professional as one of the US-based MMA companies. I think at the time due to the Gomi win everyone was expecting an Aurelio whitewash in this one.
Touch of gloves to begin and they circle tentatively, throwing some feeler strikes, with neither doing much of note. Good right hook lands for Ishida but this is a slow fight thus far. Left hand from Aurelio, and Ishida answers with a flurry before a right hand from Aurelio drops Ishida momentarily. He pops up right away though and Aurelio closes in, but Ishida tackles him to the ground. Aurelio gets a guillotine from the guard and gives it a good squeeze, but Ishida manages to work his head free. Aurelio tries to tie the Japanese fighter up, but Ishida postures up and lands a couple of heavy rights to the face. Aurelio uses a butterfly guard to push off and explode to his feet, but Ishida gets double underhooks and suplexes him back down to the guard. Good punches from inside the guard for Ishida and then he tries to pass, but Aurelio uses the opportunity to get to his feet. Ishida gets a front headlock and then hits a BEAUTIFUL head and arm throw right into full mount! Crowd EXPLODE as Aurelio does well to get back to half-guard and then looks for a single leg, sweeping Ishida, but the Japanese fighter looks calm and ends up in a weird kneeling position. Ishida hits another reversal and begins to punch away in Aurelio’s guard again, avoiding an oma plata attempt, and he really is doing a tremendous job from top position here. Round ends in Aurelio’s guard and this so far has been Ishida’s fight.
Round Two begins tentatively again before Ishida gets a single leg to the guard. Aurelio gets a guillotine but Ishida looks fine and works his way free. Ishida lands with hammer fist after hammer fist and Aurelio looks exhausted at this stage. He still manages to get a high guard, but no submission attempt as Ishida continues to work in the guard. Ishida is just fearless of Aurelio’s guard and continues to land punches with little to no answer, as the exhausted Brazilian is just stuck on his back. Crowd ERUPT as the fight ends with Ishida pounding away.
Judges all give it to Ishida, naturally, as he dominated the fight from start to finish. Of course nobody is mentioning the ludicrous situation this fight caused, as Gomi is still the champ despite losing to Aurelio who just lost to Ishida. So who the hell gets the title shot at the guy who doesn’t technically deserve to have the title? Sigh. Whatever. I just thank God we don’t have to deal with stuff like this any more! Anyway, this fight was fun as hell as Ishida was as hyperactive with the ground-and-pound in the guard as Joe Riggs or Roger Huerta ever were.
This was Kawajiri’s return to Pride action following the loss to Takanori Gomi in September ’05, although he’d since picked up a controversial win over Joachim Hansen in Shooto due to an accidental groin strike. Pre-fight Bennett talks some nonsense about how the ground game is a waste of time and nobody wants to see dudes rolling on the ground, they want standing and banging. Well yeah, he would think that, because his ground game sucks.
Bell sounds and as usual Krazy Horse props himself up in the corner of the ring, but Kawajiri just stands off and waits for him to come back down. Bennett totally telegraphs what he’s planning as his left hand is by his waist while his right is held up like he’s cocking a gun, but Kawajiri shoots in on a single leg. He switches to a double leg and gets the takedown, but Bennett works his way into full guard. Kawajiri passes to half-guard as Bennett looks for a kimura, but Kawajiri switches off and goes for his own armbar. He transitions to the topside triangle/kimura combo ala GSP in the third Hughes fight, but Bennett works free with a fireman’s carry and then takes Kawajiri’s back with an over/under. Kawajiri rolls into a kneebar though and straightens it out, and Krazy Horse taps out after trying to roll his way free.
Quick and easy victory for Kawajiri if we’re honest as Bennett continues to be one of the more frustrating fighters out there as he has a ton of potential thanks to his athleticism and punching power, but just won’t ever amount to anything with the attitude he has towards the ground game.
Weird match-up here with WEC brawler Olaf – coming off a sickening KO loss at the hands of Razor Rob McCullough –being brought in to face Sakurai following Mach’s loss to Takanori Gomi. Pre-fight interview is hilarious as Olaf claims he doesn’t do any sparring or weights or any training like that any more, just a lot of climbing trees and visualisation. Hmm. Methinks this guy could be fucked. Surprisingly Olaf seems to be the bigger guy in the staredown.
We begin and sure enough like in every other fight I’ve seen him in Olaf comes out swinging, but he can’t get Sakurai down and they end up exchanging knees in a clinch. They break off and Sakurai lands a couple of low kicks. Olaf comes forward but walks into a BIG RIGHT HOOK that stiffens him up like a corpse, and that’s that.
Genuinely sickening knockout as Olaf dropped like he’d been killed. Good God. Total squash but that’s a highlight reel finish if there ever was one. Thankfully Olaf comes round quickly after the fight and somehow they don’t need to take him out in a body bag. Brutal stuff!
Cuban Olympic judoka Lombard was coming in with quite the hype train behind him, as he was 6-0 at this stage and had looked pretty awesome in crushing lesser opposition. Mauro tells us pre-fight that he has the physique of Kevin Randleman, the aggression of Wanderlei Silva and the fighting style of an early Vitor Belfort. Now *that’s* hype! Gono though had beaten a trumped up guy in the last tournament (Daniel Acacio) and was hoping for another upset in this one. They don’t show it on the DVD but I believe this was where Gono debuted his choreographed entrance, as he’s still got his afro wig on during the ring introductions.
They get started and Lombard CHARGES RIGHT OUT WITH MACHINE GUN PUNCHES!~! Gono looks in DEEP TROUBLE as Lombard just keeps swinging and swinging, dropping Gono with the sheer ferocity of the shots! He dives down into the guard and gets a mini slam before pounding away with wild jackhammer punches. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy come out so aggressive, not even Wanderlei himself. Gono does a good job of surviving though before Lombard passes the guard and goes for a leglock. He ends up too low for a kneebar so goes for a heel hook instead, but Gono is calm as hell and he avoids before slipping free and taking the back with both hooks in. Gono slows the pace down a lot and lands some short punches from the back mount, as Trigg mentions that Lombard looks tired and may have punched himself out with his wild flurry. You don’t say! Fight slows down as Lombard ends up laying on Gono with the Japanese fighter still on his back, and it looks like both men are trying to catch a breather. One of Gono’s hooks slips out and Lombard uses the opportunity to turn into him and escape to his feet. Big right hook lands for Lombard and he swings for the fences again, but Gono can take a shot and he manages to get to the clinch. Both men exchange some knees and dirty boxing inside the clinch until the ref breaks them up. Gono fires off some nice kicks, and then a left to the body as Lombard is noticeably slower now. Striking exchange has slowed up a lot, and Gono is beginning to land the cleaner blows now even if he doesn’t possess the power of Lombard. Lombard walks into a couple of right hands and gets tagged, but he seems to have a pretty solid chin. Big overhand right wobbles the Cuban badly but he swings some punches back at Gono. They clinch up and Gono lands some solid knees to the legs and body, but Lombard drops for an ankle pick and gets a takedown to the guard. Lombard’s face is badly marked up. Round ends in Gono’s guard.
Second round opens with a big leg kick from Lombard. Gono is hanging his hands mad low here for some reason. Lombard comes in swinging but Gono gets the clinch and they exchange knees inside. Gono tries a throw but Lombard reverses and gets the takedown to guard. Little happens from the position as Gono ties him up and Lombard seems too tired to get much offense in, although he passes to half-guard. It looks like Lombard’s trying either a front choke or a smother choke, but Gono avoids that and the ref brings them up and shows the green card to both men. They restart and Lombard counters a high kick with a good overhand right. Takedown attempt from Lombard but Gono stuffs it and they wind up clinched, and the ref breaks them almost immediately. Spinning backfist misses for Gono but he follows up with a stiff right hand that wobbles Lombard’s knees. They clinch again but the ref breaks them once more, and Gono lands the right hand and blocks a judo throw to end the fight.
Judges give it unanimously to Gono, which I’d agree with as after the initial storm from Lombard, the Japanese fighter was able to control the pace of the fight and definitely landed the better shots standing, wobbling his legs on numerous occasions, while on the ground they largely cancelled each other out. Fight got a bit slow in the second round but overall it was good stuff and Gono really showed what a cagey fighter he is, as most of the other competitors in this tournament I would say would’ve been overwhelmed by the onslaught that Lombard brought in the opening minute, and yet Gono managed to weather the storm and came back to take over once Lombard was exhausted. Impressive stuff from the ‘Japanese Sensation’.
This was arguably the most exciting first round match-up of the tournament, with Kang, riding a three-fight winning streak in Pride and a nineteen-fight streak overall, taking on Chute Boxe’s Ninja who everyone had high hopes for at 185lbs despite him losing his first fight there to Paulo Filho. My pick was Kang but everyone was expecting a hell of a fight from the two. Both men appear to be in phenomenal shape.
Round One gets underway and Kang misses a knee before landing a BIG OVERHAND RIGHT that stuns Ninja badly! The Brazilian looks wobbled and Kang follows up with a flurry, basically chasing Ninja around landing punches before he drops him, and as Ninja hits the mat Kang closes things off with some more heavy shots!
Wow, never expected that to be so quick and easy for Kang. Replays show the first punch caught Ninja right on the temple and it was just over from there. Unbelievable stuff from Denis Kang. Whole fight took fifteen seconds. Post-fight they show us Paulo Filho looking shocked as hell in the front row of the crowd, before Kang gets on the mic and cuts a total money promo....
“I love PRIDE, I love my job. This gets better every time. This is my tournament! I’m gonna be THE CHAMPION!”
....looking right at Dan Henderson while saying it. AWESOME.
And finally it’s another mouth-watering clash as my favourite Baroni - who had brutally knocked out Yuki Kondo in his last fight - was matched with Japan’s Misaki, the guy who had given Dan Henderson a surprisingly tough fight at Bushido 10. Of course I was picking Baroni by brutal KO, but it was clear that Misaki’s technical stand-up and tough chin had the potential to give the NYBA problems. Pre-fight Baroni tells us he’s heard Misaki talking about abandoning his stand-up game and taking it to the ground, to which he’s like, man up and fight, there’s nowhere to run in the Pride ring. BEST EVAH!~!
They get started and right away Misaki lands with a jumping knee that stops Baroni in his tracks! Looks like it hit Phil in the chest though and he seems alright, coming back with a right hand. Good body kick from Misaki as he moves from side to side. They clinch and Misaki tries to throw him down, but Baroni pops right back up and Misaki forces him into the corner of the ring. Misaki lands some knees to the legs and foot stomps, before the ref breaks them. Misaki flying knee hits the chest again and the Japanese fighter looks for the takedown, but Baroni sprawls to avoid it. Misaki ducks the big right and gets the clinch, landing some more knees and foot stomps, but the ref breaks them once more. Baroni presses, but takes the flying knee again and Misaki is ducking under the big overhand right very well. Good left hand from Baroni to counter a body shot though. Good leg kick from Misaki and he avoids another haymaker right. Phil is swinging for the fences and he lands a nice combo, but Misaki manages not to be hurt and ducks out of the way of some heavy shots. Good leg kicks land for Misaki, slowing Baroni up a little. Good right from Misaki and he follows with a flying knee that narrowly misses and then pulls guard with a guillotine, but it doesn’t look locked in tightly and Phil works his head free. Body shots from Baroni as Misaki gets a really high guard for control. Baroni continues to slug away at the body but the ref stands them up with two minutes to go and shows Misaki the green card. Misaki throws out some jabs but Baroni connects with a left hand that wobbles him slightly. Wheel kick by Misaki misses. Baroni keeps on swinging but some leg kicks look to have hurt him somewhat. Misaki is picking his shots very well. Baroni swings some heavy shots at the Japanese fighter who avoids them nicely and comes back with a combo that tags Baroni. Baroni is beginning to look tired as the round ends.
Final round gets underway and now they just decide to trade blows and naturally Baroni gets the better of it with his power punches. Misaki looks hurt for a second but then fires right back with a knee strike and a beautiful combo, going to the body and avoiding the big overhand right from the NYBA. Nice trip takedown puts Baroni on his back in guard and Misaki covers the mouth to disrupt his breathing and passes to half-guard. Elbows to the body from Misaki as the cameras give us a good shot of the nasty welts on Phil’s leg from the low kicks. Misaki looks to be going for a kimura on the far side, and he uses it to take the full mount for a second before hopping to side mount. Misaki steps over the head and tries to secure it, but Baroni shows some tremendous strength and powers right out. Misaki stays in side mount though and lands a couple of knees to the head. Reversal by Baroni and he works free to his feet, but Misaki looks a lot fresher and lands a right hook and a stiff jab. Good leg kick by Misaki but Baroni lands a hard knee, so Misaki grabs a clinch and forces him into the corner. Ref breaks them up and Baroni is exhausted now, but he’s still swinging until Misaki hits a sweet leg trip and throws him down. Baroni pops back up, and then manages to reverse and winds up on top, but the ref decides he used the ropes to hit the reversal and shows him the yellow card. They restart standing and Misaki lands some jabs, avoiding Phil’s heavy power punches, and the fight ends there. Hell of a fight.
Judges all score it for Misaki, which I’d agree with as he outstruck Baroni, landing the crisper shots and avoiding Baroni’s power punches as Baroni suffered from Josh Burkman syndrome where he threw everything into every punch and it ended up exhausting him. Very good fight though as both men took their fair share of heavy shots and never stopped working from start to finish. Fight of the night in fact.
-And we end with the Elite Eight - Suloev, Filho, Chonan, Mousasi, Gono, Kang, Misaki and Dan Henderson – in the ring before hitting the highlight reel.
This was actually a slower show for a Bushido; the worst Bushido show since Bushido 5 in 2004 in fact, as we had no classic fights or even low-end FOTYCs, and some of the earlier fights were very slow and tentative, particularly Suloev-Bustamante and Filho-Bouchelaghem. The three Lightweight fights in the middle of the card were fun enough and I greatly enjoyed Misaki-Baroni and Lombard-Gono, but when you’re used to stuff like well, any of the Bushido shows from 6 to 10 you can’t help but be disappointed by this. But like a slower WEC show these days it doesn’t mean that it was a bad show per say as it still stacks up well against the majority of the regular Pride shows or indeed, most of the UFC shows today. So thumbs leaning slightly up for Bushido 11.
Best Fight: Baroni-Misaki
Worst Fight: Bustamante-Suloev
Overall Rating: ***1/4
UFC: 94-98, Fight Nights 17-18, and TUF VIII Finale.
Pride: Shockwave 2006, 31, Bushido 12-13 and the Openweight Grand Prix.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.