Professional Fighting Association: Pride And Fury 5 “usa Vs. The World”
Professional Fighting Association: Pride and Fury 5 "USA vs. the World"
Held July 6, 2006
At the Coeur D’Alene Casino
Report & photos by Mike Neva
For their fifth professional event, co-promoters Derek Cleveland and Trevor Pangley used the tried-and-true adage of the United States against all comers. Earmarked as "USA vs. the World", nine fighters from seven Nations comprised the World team, with the Lion’s Den Fight Team (Idaho Branch) representing the USA. Anchored by UFC and Pride vet, Josh Thomson, the heavily favored USA squad went on to win all but one bout.
In the headliner, Thomson took on relative unknown, Rocky Johnson, for the PFA lightweight title. As the bout commenced, the easygoing Thomson seemed content to circle and trade leg kicks with Johnson. With a smile on his face and the hometown fans cheering him on, Thomson proceeded to throw a flying axe kick that narrowly missed the mark as it whistled passed the ear of a ducking Johnson. In return, Johnson fired off a spinning back kick, which landed to the mid section, but didn’t seem to phase the steadfast Thomson. Moments later, Thomson again threw an axe kick, but lost his balance giving Johnson the opportunity to take the fight to the ground. Although the Greco Roman specialist, Johnson, seemed more at ease on the mat, the well-rounded Thomson, a product of the American Kickboxing Academy, quickly transitioned into an arm bar for the submission victory.
Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter.
Muay Thai results
Travis Smith (USA) def. Jameel Al-Muthafar (Iraq) by unanimous decision after R4
Amateur MMA results
James Berti (USA) def. Dave Adriatico (Philippines) by TKO referee stoppage from strikes at 1:03 of R1
Chanti Johnson (USA) def. Shawn Scribbner (USA) by guillotine choke at 1:06 of R1
Ed Nuno (Mexico) def. Mike Wells (USA) by TKO referee stoppage from strikes at 2:25 of R2
Pro MMA results
Zach Lari (USA) def. Tranjit Thiara (India) by rear-naked choke at 3:03 of R1
Travis Bush (USA) def. Yoon Heo (Korea) by rear-naked choke at 4:22 of R2
Ray Routh (USA) def. Zach Manabusen (Guam) by head & arm choke at 0:25 of R1
Josh Curran (USA) def. Trent Standing (USA) by TKO doctor stoppage from a cut at 5:00 of R1
Josh Thomson (USA) def. Rocky Johnson (USA) by arm bar at 1:55 of R1
Edwards Returned to a New Division,
Now Looks to Adjust
By Derek Callahan
Two fights in Pride and two more in the UFC are all that’s guaranteed right now for Yves Edwards. Someone who has earned so much as far as reputation in the ring, Edwards will have to earn whatever he gets beyond those four separate shots. In what is known widely as a "what-have-you-done-lately?" business, lately Edwards has been training for the UFC. To their credit, the UFC has been moving lately with the lightweights.
"Hearing that the lightweight title is coming back is giving me focus," says Edwards. More than anyone since Jens Pulver, Edwards was a UFC stalwart. During the only UFC lightweight champion’s reign, Edwards was on his way up. Early losses to Matt Serra and Caol Uno held him back from Pulver, but after "Little Evil" left for greener pastures Edwards took the division as his own. He won his next six UFC fights, but still no title was in sight.
"When you’ve had a fight or two in the UFC you’re there. Without a title at lightweight it was kind of hard," he says. Through the fall of 2004 and all of 2005, Edwards didn’t get a chance in the UFC. He had won all his fights, but the uncrowned "People’s Champ" of the division was MIA. Finally in March of this year, the chance to get back into the mix came and, like any pessimist would expect, Edwards was upset by Mark Hominick.
"Of course I want a rematch with that guy," he says. "I just didn’t perform to my standards, that’s what disappoints me more than anything." He didn’t have much time to get over the disappointment, because his second of a three-fight contract came creeping up as fast as his return to the UFC did.
"It was good, a bit of a surprise. I didn’t expect it to be that quick, I was pleasantly surprised," says Edwards on his UFC return. Next up is former welterweight Joe Stevenson, the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner who is coming off a loss of his own, to Josh Neer. "Of course I’ve seen quite a few of his fights," says Edwards on Stevenson. "I see a lot of good things about him, his jiu-jitsu looks strong. Those leg locks look pretty painful."
With that in mind, Edwards is keeping his Texas-based training camp intense until he boards the plane for Vegas. "My cardio is where I want it to be, I’m still pushing it. When I leave town is when I cool it down," he says. On another hand, Edwards can’t afford to cool down. While for a while it looked as if the division was all him, Hermes Franca and Josh Thomson, right now that can’t be farther from reality.
"I’m looking forward to this new division and the challenges," he says. "The UFC is where I cut my teeth as far as being a name and I want to be the man there." That can’t happen without first beating Stevenson, who assuredly has the same goals in mind. Trying to put the unexpected loss to Hominick behind him, Edwards knows there will be pressure to avoid dropping two in a row.
"Pressure’s like Jell-O, you feed off it or drown in it and there’s always room for Jell-O," he reasons. "All the guys I can mention are tough, even the young guys. If you like to fight tough guys, this is like being a kid in a candy store."
Edwards knows that he doesn’t have to worry about getting tough fights. The trick now will be adapting to a revamped division that includes a whole new array of competition for Edwards. Arguably the most notable addition — or more accurately re-addition — is Jens Pulver.
Edwards wasn’t enough of a contender during Pulver’s time as champion, so the meeting between two well-rounded yet dangerous strikers never took place. Even with the loss to Hominick, Edwards was the one whose stock rose the highest in Pulver’s absence. The return of both to the organization that helped make them famous excites Edwards, who keeps his enthusiasm for that match in the back of his mind.
"Man, Jens Pulver’s back and that excites me. The man was the champion he deserves to be back. That means something," he says. Edwards has lost before and came back before, but with Stevenson in his way, none of the options in a deep lightweight division are open to him yet. It takes a win against Stevenson, and must go from there.