Sherdog.com Preview: PRIDE Bushido Lightweight Grand Prix

Introduction

Sep 20, 2005
The field explodes with names like Gomi, Kawajiri and Sakurai. This is PRIDE right? Former SHOOTO champs Gomi and Sakurai, current SHOOTO welterweight champion Kawajiri, plus current DEEP middleweight champion Mishima and ZST veteran Kotani make up the Japanese contingent for the Lightweight GP.

Exactly one half the tournament field is Japanese. Can you say home field advantage? I’m not saying that most of these men don’t belong in there but this deck is certainly stacked to allow at least one Japanese fighter to survive and advance to the finals.

And some of the major foreign camps are represented but one huge is name absent from the list that would’ve made this event a true barometer of the lightweight fighting world: Nova Uniao’s Vitor Ribeiro (Pictures).

If “Shaolin” was on board for this one, few could argue with it being labeled “the greatest lightweight tournament ever assembled.” Ribeiro factors heavily in this tournament, having beaten Hansen, split a pair of bouts with Kawajiri and recently defeated the man who took Gomi the distance, Chute Boxe fighter Jean Silva (Pictures).

Even now, with the field as it is, the event promises to be one of the most exciting lightweight events you could ever hope to see.

With the quarters and semifinals on Sunday, September 25, let’s look at the brackets and see if we can’t figure out who’s advancing to the New Years Eve’ Finals.

On one side of the bracket Takanori Gomi (Pictures), of Kiguchi Dojo, goes toe-to-toe with Tatsuya Kawajiri (Pictures), of the Tops Team. The winner of the Gomi-Kawajiri bout takes on either Naoyuki Kotani (Pictures), of the Rodeo Style or Chute Boxe Academy’s Luiz Azeredo (Pictures).

Hayato Sakurai (Pictures), of MACH Dojo, combats Team Extreme fighter Jens Pulver (Pictures). Whoever advances from this fight takes on the winner between Third Column Muay Thai fighter Yves Edwards (Pictures) and Joachim Hansen (Pictures), of the Team Scandinavian BJJ Academy.

And in the PRIDE Bushido Lightweight GP reserve match, Cobra Kai fighter Dokonjonosuke Mishima (Pictures) tests USA Martial Arts grappler Charles Bennett (Pictures).
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