March 30, 2011
A knockout punch to Pride
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency
OK, my buddy Neil Springer is going to go into a self-induced chokehold when he reads this.
You see, Neil is one of those nostalgic fellas that romanticizes about the good-old days of the Pride Fighting Championship and how it was the best fight club on the planet during its 10-year existence. A Pride purist that can’t be swayed.
Granted the Japanese dudes that ran it knew how to put on a spectacle with pomp and pyrotechnics that drew legions of sleep-deprived North American fans. But at the end of the day, it’s about the fighters.
So I’d like to bring some finality to this UFC vs. Pride debate. All the evidence rests in what has happened since the UFC bought the rival promotion four years ago and brought over all its top talent.
Since coming to the UFC, top Pride fighters have done the following: Wanderlei Silva — three losses, two wins. Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic — five losses, four wins Dan Henderson — two losses, three wins. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira — two losses, three wins. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua — three wins, three losses
Of the big names that came over, one could argue only Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has a truly respectable UFC record with six wins and two losses.
Now Neil and his cronies will point out that Nogueira, Rua and Jackson all went on to become UFC champs in their weight classes. True. But all were one-term champs except for Jackson who held the belt for two fights.
The top name from Pride — Fedor Emelianenko — is currently riding a two-fight losing streak and has never come to the UFC to fight the top heavyweights in the world. (Insert your own reason for that here.)
So, unlike dominating fighters Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, the Pride guys have made for some interesting fights but they didn’t turn the UFC world upside down as predicted by some.
Currently, all UFC belts are held by non-Pride buyouts.