PRIDE "Final Conflict": Fedor Retains Title, Shogun Wins Middleweight GP

Under card

By Jason Nowe Aug 28, 2005
The reserve bout for the Middleweight GP saw Yoshida dojo prodigy Kazuhiro Nakamura (Pictures) take on tough Ukrainian fighter Igor Vovchanchyn (Pictures). Nakamura’s entrance video showed him saying that the mistake he made taking off his gi in the middle of his fight with Silva at the last PRIDE was “stupid.” When walking towards the ring, he took his gi off halfway down the length of the ramp, much to the amusement of the crowd.

This fight remained mostly on ground. Nakamura’s transitioning between positions was impressive. He passed Vovchanchyn’s guard several times, working to side and even to the mount. He applied a lot of quick, sharp submission attempts, including a kneebar, Achilles lock, keylock and armbar.

Vovchanchyn wasn’t as active on the ground as this opponent, but he did have the presence of mind to escape the submissions Nakamura tried to lay on him.

This was a good, technical grappling war, but perhaps a little slow for the fans taste as there were some boos at the end. The judges awarded Nakamura the unanimous decision.

Nakamura’s mentor, Hidehiko Yoshida (Pictures), took on the veteran fighter Tank Abbott, who after years of fighting for the UFC finally made his PRIDE debut. Tank scored an early takedown, ending up in Yoshida’s guard. From here, Abbott really put the pressure on Yoshida by standing up and leaning forward, even pushing him to the ropes. On his back, Yoshida tied up Tank’s arms, looking for a triangle or armbar.

After being ordered to stand, Yoshida landed some clean punches to the American brawler. Tank went down and grabbed one of Yoshida’s legs, only to be met by knees from the ground. From here Yoshida spun to Abbot’s back and applied the fight-ending rear-naked choke.

In his post-fight interview, Abbott said that he wasn’t too concerned about Yoshida wearing a gi during their fight. He mentioned that his timing was off and that Yoshida did a good job of avoiding damage. He further mentioned that Yoshida’s knees on the ground didn’t hurt, nor did any of his strikes. When asked what his plans were for his next fight, he stated that he doesn’t think that far ahead.

Team Cro Cop member Fabricio Werdum (Pictures) took on Red Devil fighter Roman Zentsov (Pictures). This fight underlined the heavyweight title match-up. Werdum drew first blood by shooting in and taking the Russian down in the corner. After a great bridging reversal, Zentsov ended up in Werdum’s guard.

Werdum made pretty short work of Zentsov once on the ground, taking side and mount positions. Eventually Werdum was able to snap on a lighting fast armbar from his back to finish the fight.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>