PRIDE FC New Year's Eve
UFC 66 and K-1 Dynamite have really sh!tty lineups. So Pride NYE looks like a real diamond in a pile of turds. Pride is not on regular TV in Japan because of the whole Yakuza thing, and while that may not be good financially, it's great for MMA purists, because the lineup actually looks great. No freakshows, no TV personalities-turned-fighters, just real fighters. So far here is the lineup:
Fedor vs. Hunt
Hunt really has little chance whatsoever. Fedor will probably sub him within the first three minutes. But we get to watch Fedor. So yippee.
Kawajiri vs. Melendez
This may be the fight of the night right here. Just an awesome matchup. Melendez is a big time up-and-comer with tons of energy, but Crusher is just too experienced and just plain good. Crusher in a high energy match.
Aoki vs. Hansen
Excellent matchup between the unorthodox Hansen and submachine Aoki. Hansen is far better at standup, but Aoki is just too damn good a grappler to let Hansen tee off on him. I gotta go with Aoki by sub.
Nakamura vs. Shogun
I like Nakamura a lot; he just seems to get better every match, and might be a future champ. He's very underrated, kinda like Carlos Boozer before the season. Shogun is the best 205er in the world IMO however, so…yeah.
Gomi vs. Ishida
Why this isn't for the title I don't know. Gomi must give some good head. Ishida is a real style matchup problem for Gomi, as he's just a wrestling and GNP machine. Gomi is a pretty good wrestler too, but he's not in Ishida's league. He's far bigger and still has those deadly fists though, and he showed that he's willing to win ugly against Aurelio. This is a tossup to me. I'll say Gomi by a hair in a snoozer of a fight.
Barnett vs. Nogueira
The first fight was maybe the fight of the year. And now we get five more minutes. If Kawajiri-Melendez isn't fight of the night, this will be. Just like the first fight, I'll go with Barnett in a close one.
Gono vs. Kondo
Dammit, I wanna see the old Yuki Kondo. He's past his prime, but I think he's still got one good fight in him. So nice entrance Gono, but I am going with Kondo.
Minowa vs. Tamura
Holy crap, Minowa's fighting a guy his own size! Tamura was a great fighter when he was younger. Too bad he's not younger. Mullet by flying dropkick to elbow off the turnbuckle.
Fujita vs. Olympic wrestler dude
The wrestler is some hairy Eastern European who's like 5'5" and 230. Kinda like Monson but from Borat's town. Fujita will not be able to outwrestle this guy, so hopefully he just goes nuts and tees off on him. Fujita KOing people = awesomeness.
And one of the rumors for the last fight is Arona vs. Yoshida, which would be kinda boring although very even. Who knows, maybe Pride will spring a surprise on us and announce something crazy. Although that will probably happen in February in the US show.