Final Thoughts from PRIDE 29

Final Thoughts from PRIDE 29

By Masa Fukui Feb 28, 2005
Next Choi. I wasn’t a fan of this guy but after this PRIDE, I became his fan. He made me one. I am not a fan of his strength, but I like his character is good. Every time he come up to the show, he puts smiles on people’s face.

Didn’t he even make the Russian killer laugh? Sergei Kharitonov never changes his face. It’s like he wears a mask. The only time I see his face is changed is when he speaks. He open his mouth when he talks. Did you laugh? I’ve never seen such a stare up and down from right from left.

This is just my Idea, but I think he finally got enough attention from the Japanese audience, which is big enough to bring him back in this ring. Yeah, he’s not the main dish of dinner yet, but he’s definitely became something you kinda want on the table, like salt and pepper, or more like soup or salad.

Now Japan is in the middle of a big Korean boom. Lots of Korean culture such as TV drama, movie, and music come to this island. Choi caught a good wave to surf. I’m very happy for him. I’m looking forward to see his next performance. Come on PRIDE usually has about 10 fights a night. We can watch some real fight that is tiny bit comical.

Two UFCs ago, my mentor Mike Sloan had a little problem when he wrote that Rich Franklin looks like a zombie when he cuts a lot of. Hope I don’t get the same problem by saying that Igor Vovchanchyn looks like zombie. (OK, “zombie” is too strong. But among Japanese anime characters he definitely belongs to dark side.)

Man, Igor looks so different. But even if he lost lots of weight from his belly or face, he still kept his devastating power on his punches. He knocked out this tough guy, former Pancrase heavyweight champion Yoshihiro Takahashi.

Takahashi spit out how he felt after getting knocked out. “I’ve never been knocked out by a single punch until today,” he said after the fight. “I’m still dizzy and have headache.”

“I was very excited when I saw Igor is facing me in the ring because that’s Igor Vovchanchyn looking at me to beat me up! That’s very exciting,” he said.

Holy Motown! I don’t want to face off against any of those guys. I think, Igor’s effort to lose weight made his dream come true. It’s not finished yet, but I think this flashy win will bring him to the middleweight tournament. Hey boys, would you like to see Igor vs. Tito or Igor against Wanderlei? Either fight sounds awesome for me.

Igor is a brawler with decent technique. I think all of you remember that war against Enson Inoue against Igor in PRIDE1 0. It’s a fight that people still talk about as such a tough war. Enson started to brawl without worrying about anything. But If Igor didn’t fire back that fight could be not exciting as it really was.

To have a legendary battle, there should be brave fighter against brave fighter. And Igor definitely can be one of those brave men. He’ll put on a great show in April.

On a final note, we’d like to say a big thank you to Yoshinori Ihara from He always helps us at the shows. Visit or Cheers for Mr. Ihara


P.S. I just re-read my favorite article Savage Truth. The Savage Truth: Pickin' UFC 50. (/news/news/the-savage-truth-pickin-ufc-50-2107). I also fly with Jet blue all the time, when I’m coming to America. I miss those purple color potato chips in Japan.
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