Competitive Bouts, Early Stoppages Mark Pride 30

Kharitonov & Rampage Win

By Jason Nowe Oct 23, 2005
In the unofficial battle of judo, Olympic gold medalist and Yoshida dojo member Makoto Takimoto (Pictures) took on Korean judo legend Yoon Dong Sik (Pictures). Takimoto choose to wear a short-sleeved gi to the ring, perhaps learning something from stable-mate Kazuhiro Nakamura (Pictures)’s gi incident in PRIDE Critical Countdown against Wanderlei Silva (Pictures). Yoon, on the other hand, chose to not wear a gi.

Takimoto scored a big hip throw on his opponent in the opening round, falling into half guard. But on the canvas, both fighters did relatively little. It almost looked like they were both waiting to be stood up.

After a brief scramble, Takimoto applied a strong Kimura attempt from his back. Yoon was able to roll with it and finally escape. In the corner, the Korean scored a takedown on his Japanese counterpart and worked to the mount. From here he rained down punches. Takimoto twisted to get away from the strikes, revealing his back, only to turn again into the same precarious position.

The second and third rounds saw very little mat work from the two fighters. Instead they both opted to keep it standing. Takimoto had some good flurries and connected several times. His striking has certainly gotten better since his PRIDE debut versus Sentoryu at the last New Year’s Eve show, but he is still flat on his feet and has a dangerous habit of keeping his head up when he punches.

This fight went the distance and Takimoto was awarded the unanimous victory. The audience was obviously not happy with their countryman’s performance and booed him loudly as the decision was read.

Team Cro Cop member Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) took on Russian Top Team fighter Sergei Kharitonov (Pictures) in what turned out to be a less than exciting match.

Kharitonov totally controlled the real estate in this one, constantly backing the Brazilian into the corners. But rather than unleashing with the vicious flurries that he used to dispatch Pedro Rizzo (Pictures), he did relatively little apart from wading dangerously close to his opponent and throwing some single punches.

Werdum’s game plan for his one was all about single-leg takedowns. Once backed into the corner, he would come charging out with the shot. He scored several of these in the beginning, but as the fight wore on his shots became slower and Kharitonov was able to see them coming and avoid them with ease.

After his shots failed, Werdum constantly ended up on his back. Kharitonov preferred to keep it standing and refused to follow Werdum to the ground. The referee often had to stand the Brazilian fighter up.

To his credit, Werdum did have several submission attempts, particularly in the first round. Kharitonov was able to knock the Brazilian down with a punch in the third, opening a cut under Werdum’s right eye.

The fight went the distance and Kharitonov was awarded the split decision.

Hirotaka Yokoi (Pictures) did pretty well in the early stages of his fight with Quinton Jackson (Pictures). From his back he was always trying to move his legs up his opponent, attempting an omo plata and taking side-control as the American fighter moved to escape.

But eventually the roof caved in for Yokoi. Rampage got to get to half guard and then to the side, pinning the Japanese fighter’s arm down with his knee. From here, Rampage proceeded to pound the helpless Yokoi with his right hand. Yokoi briefly escaped this precarious position, only to be pulled back in.

Rampage continued to rain down shots with his right and just as Yokoi worked to cover up, Jackson got to his feet and finished his opponent with a soccer kick and a stomp. The referee stopped the beating at 4:05 of the first round.

In the battle of the giants, James “The Colossus” Thompson squared off against Romanian judo player Alexandru Lungu. I always thought that Thompson was big, but Lungu is an absolute behemoth.

Lungu floored Thompson early on with a big punch and then pretty much fell on top of the British fighter. Despite the enormous weight, Thompson was able to work back to the guard. Both fighters got to their feet and proceeded to throw bombs at each other, but the both looked gassed and slow.

Upon being forced into the corner after an exchange, Lungu ended up turning his back. Thompson continued to pound the Romanian’s head from behind. At one point it almost looked like Lungu was trying to crawl right out of the ring to avoid the blows. The referee stepped in and stopped this one at the 2:13 mark of the first.

In what turned out to be a high-paced match-up, Murilo Rua (Pictures) faced off against Golden Glory wrestler Murad Chunkaev. The Chechen fighter scored the first takedown, countering a flying knee by Ninja. After a scramble on the ground both were on their feet again.

There, Ninja was rocked by strikes from the Chechen, falling back to his butt, only to rally back and stagger his opponent. Chunkaev recovered, scoring the takedown and falling into guard. Ninja was able to briefly get his opponent’s back when he was down on all fours, yet Chunkaev escaped. After another brief scramble on the mat Ninja rolled with the Chechen and out of nowhere applied a heel hook to take a submission victory.

In another bout of the big guys, Sentoryu faced off against the Brazilian fighter known as Zuluzinho Zuluzinho (Pictures). Sentoryu is big, but he was absolutely dwarfed by his opponent. Both of these guys came out swinging. Sentoryu backed the Brazilian to the ropes and pounded to the head and body. Zuluzinho, son of the famous Rei Zulu who fought Rickson Gracie in 1980, weathered the storm and fired a big knee to the American-Japanese fighter’s head.

After some more pounding on the feet, Sentoryu went in for a shot. Zulu was able to sprawl away to stop the takedown and started to throw knees. After the third knee Sentoryu fell down to the side. The referee came rushing in a stopped the fight.

While watching this I didn’t even realize that there was a stoppage, Sentoryu looked fine. It seemed like there was some confusion in the ring, but the referee stood behind his decision. Sentoryu couldn’t believe the call, and honestly neither could I. A very unfortunate stoppage indeed.
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