PRIDE Fighting Championships. The final round of the Open weight Grand Prix is tommorrow! I’m pumped.
Wanderlei vs Crocop and Nog vs Barnett and the winner of each match fights again later that evening. I know it’s a long shot but I say Wanderlei and Nog win their matches, and then Wanderlei beats a tired Nog in the final. I think it might happen.
Wanderlei’s style is a bad matchup for Crocop, especially now that Fedor exposed a chink in his style, constant pressure. Not to mention the other big hole in Crocop’s game; the ground. I think Wanderlei will be able to pressure him enough and get him down and either sub or GnP him out.
I think Barnett’s strength and ground skills are going to neutralize Nog’s ground game. That leaves Barnett and Nog to fight a stand-up and GnP fight that I think will go the distance and leave both exhausted. Nog will win, but be tired.
That leaves a fresh Wanderlei and a tired Nog in the finals. Like I said, a longshot, but it’s possible.
Check this promo vid from Pride that gives history of the GPs over the years. Awesome video.
I think you’re wrong about both first-round fights. :) I think CroCop will stuff Silva’s takedowns and will win the standup.
And I think that Barnett and Minotauro will spend most of the fight on the ground, with Barnett on top. Both are really good groundfighters, but a grappler with a really good top game will beat a grappler with a really good bottom game. I expect it to look a lot like Ricco Rodriguez vs. Nogueira, except with Barnett being more active on the top than Ricco. I give it to Barnett by ground and pound or decision. After that, I think we’ll see CroCop vs. Barnett III, and we’ll see whether Barnett’s finally shaken off the ring rust enough to win. If he’s in shape, he’s good enough.
Nog should be able to handle Barnett, but Silva/CroCop is a coin toss. If Silva/CroCop ends with an early knockout – which it easily might – then the winner will be in the catbird seat because Nog/Barnett will likely be a protracted war.
My money’s on Silva, by KO in the first round and bloody decision in the final.
Man, Mirko was ON. He’s rarely ever looked as focused as he did last night. His stamina is still an issue, but he’s never looked as aggressive as he did last night.
He completely had Silva’s number, straight shots down the middle. Despite Barnett’s comments that his cardio was okay and he felt fine…he looked rough after his fight with Nog and he had to be tired. I’m happy for Crocop though, he’s come close to getting the belt a couple of times so it’s nice that he got to win the tournament. That was the first time anyone has seen him show emotion in the ring.
Arona v Overeem had an odd finish, not sure what that was about.
Aleks again showcased that he has some of the best hands in MMA. Those were some nasty knees at the end too.
Shogun v “Snake” was entertaining. Me and the rest of the guys I was watching with got a kick out of how the only referred to him by Snake. It’s always fun to see some Chute Box patented stomping as well.