Nogueira, Pulver Shine Most In Ufo Event
Nogueira, Pulver Shine Most in UFO Event
TOKYO, Japan — With the UFO struggling for an identity, two of the world’s premiere mixed martial arts fighters stepped forward and showed promoters the way of the future.
Rodrigo Nogueira and Jens Pulver, both considered the best fighters in the world in their respective weight divisions, put on inspiring performances that overshadowed the presence of pro wrestling.
"TV executives are now clear… the no-rules fighting is more exciting than the pro wrestling," said a UFO insider who asked not to be identified. "In the next show, we will have more real fights and much less pro wrestling. No-rules fighting is the future in Japan."
UFO was televised live on Nippon-TV and an estimated 7 million people watched the show… to go along with a live crowd of 20,000 at the Tokyo Dome. While the live crowd was smaller than hoped, the TV numbers were good enough for UFO to plan another show in January.
In its debut, UFO mixed real NHB matches with pro wrestling bouts, thinking that it would take a big-name wrestler like Naoya Ogawa to get people to watch the show. While Ogawa is very popular, his bout against grossly overweight Matt Ghaffari was not a hit. Ogawa landed one punch to the nose of Ghaffari, who turned and ran away before quitting.
In real matches, Nogueira, the heavyweight champion from Pride, dramatically ended his grappling chess match with Abu Dhabi champion Sanae Kikuta when he countered a low kick with a straight right that dropped the Japanese favorite and left him unconscious for several minutes. The end came at 2:29 of the second round.
Pulver, the longtime UFC lightweight champion, made his Japan debut with a 15-minute standup war against K-1 competitor Takehiro Murahama. All rounds featured lots of punches landed, but Pulver pulled out a split decision, running his post-UFC record to 2-0. He was 6-0-1 in the UFC and is 29-2-1 overall.
"I know I could have taken him down and probably won much easier on the ground," Pulver said. "But I prefer to stand up and fight and I was determined to come here and beat Murahama at his own game. From the way the fans reacted, I’d say they enjoyed the fight… and that’s important to me."
Pulver, a member of Team Extreme and Miletich Fighting Systems, said he has been asked to fight in the next UFO event.
In other bouts, Vladimir Matyushenko overpowered and outwrestled Rogerio Nogueira (twin brother of Rodrigo) to win a unanimous decision. There was little standup in this bout, but Matyushenko landed enough strikes from the top position on the mat to win handily.
Mario Sperry won a very low-energy bout against Wataru Sakata, claiming a unanimous decision. Sperry was severely cut above the left eye early in the bout and officials nearly stopped the fight. Afterwards, Sperry continued to get takedowns and maintain position on top.
"They said if the cut opened up again, they would stop the fight… and I would lose or get a no-contest," Sperry said. "I got 10 stitches, so I did what I had to do to win the fight."
Wallid Ismail, coming off a loss in Pride, stopped Murakami Kazunari with punches on the ground. A bloody Kazunari protested, but the TKO officially stopped the contest at 2:33 of the second round.
In the night’s first bout, Hirotaka Yokoi made quick work of Canadian wrestler Bulldozer George, sinking in a rear choke at 47 seconds of the opening round.
In a "suspect" bout, Pride standout Kazuyuki Fujita beat wrestler Tadao Yasuda by shoulder lock at 2:46 of the first round. The bout lacked any striking and seemed to support the rumors that it was a pro wrestling bout.
In a bout labeled an "exhibition," former WWF wrestler Chyna (now Joannie Laurer) defeated last-minute replacement Chika Nakamura in 1:50 by referee stoppage. Nakamura was "recruited" from the crowd, where she just happened to be wearing fight gear.
The Brazilian Beat:
Minotouro to Take on TK,
Storm Getting Closer!
The UFO Legends event is already history and now the focus in Brazil is turned to Shockwave and the next edition of Deep. August promises to be a busy Month for the Brazilian NHB community with the participation of Minotauro, and the likely participation of Vanderlei Silva, at PRIDE Shockwave, as well as Brazilian fighters preparing for Deep and the September UFC. Not only that, but the Muay Thai community here will have another edition of the Storm Muay Thai event, showcasing fighters from all over the country and developing new talents for Muay Thai and NHB as well. With all those things shaking up the fight scene in Brazil, FCF keeps up the rhythm, as the beat goes on…
From Natalie Salzman at Bender/Helper Impact:
TWO TITANIC MATCHES WILL ROCK SHOCKWAVE
DreamStage Entertainment Announces Additional Bouts For PRIDE FC: ShockWave
Los Angeles – August 12, 2002 – DreamStage Entertainment rocks the mixed-martial arts world with the latest additions to ShockWave, the largest PRIDE Fighting Championships event to date, taking place at the prominent Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on August 28, 2002.
At a press conference held in Tokyo on August 12, 2002, two official matches were announced. The first card addition, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria vs. Bob Sapp, will be conducted under PRIDE FC rules. The second card addition pitting Don Frye vs. Mark Hunt will be conducted under K-1 rules. DreamStage added that prospective fighters who have expressed interest in participating in ShockWave are Wanderlei Silva, Semmy Schilt, Ernest Hoost and Mike Bernardo. It has also been confirmed that former WCW superstar Bill Goldberg will be providing commentary for the PPV event, adding more excitement to an already thrilling event card.
The two previously announced matches are the highly anticipated Royce Gracie vs. Hidehiko Yoshida and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Mirko Cro Cop. It has been determined that strikes will be allowed in the Yoshida vs. Gracie bout. The rules for the Sakuraba vs. crop Cop match have yet to be determined.
Additional card information will follow shortly.
*Pay-Per-View Networks include: DIRECTV, DishNetwork, TVN, Bell Express Vu and Viewer’s Choice Canada
From SB promoter T. Jay Thompson:
"The Machine Gun" Returns!
For the past two years, Ronald "The Machine Gun" Jhun, has been destroying competition throughout the world and occasionally in Hawaii… But not in the SuperBrawl ring. It is now confirmed that Jhun’s management and the SuperBrawl organization have come to terms on a multi-fight deal that will keep Jhun in the ring that began his illustrious career.
"We could not be more excited to have ‘The Machine Gun’ back home." says T.Jay Thompson, SuperBrawl promoter. "Ronald began his career with us and we hope to now propel him to the international recognition he deserves."
"The Machine Gun" will make his return on September 17, in the multi-national co-promotion "Super Brawl presents, The Universal Combat Challenge, Eruption in Paradise!"
His opponent will be a Canadian UCC veteran to be named later this week. Expect bullets to fly on Tuesday night, Sept 17 at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu Hawaii!
Super Brawl Signs 6 Super Stars to Multi-Fight Contracts!
In a first for the SuperBrawl organization, 6 fighters sign exclusive multi-fight contracts. Ronald "The Machine Gun" Jhun, Cabbage, Falaniko Vitale, Baret Yoshida, Eddie "The Filipino Phenom" Yagin and Kolo Koka have all signed deals that will keep them exclusively in the Super Brawl ring for up to one year.
"We could not be more pleased to give these talented athletes the security of a multiple fight contract. Although all these guys love to fight, money and contract negotiations are an issue. And now that is one less thing they will have to worry about." says SuperBrawl promoter T.Jay Thompson.
The contract do, however, allow the pursuit of fights outside of Hawaii. "These fighters are now part of the Super Brawl family and we will take care of them as such. With our extensive contacts inside the MMA world, we will actively search for appropriate fights for these guys around the world. We have already secured a fight for Cabbage in the September UFC."