No Fedor but Brother Aleksander Shines in Bushido Europe

By Chaitu Satbhai Oct 9, 2005
ROTTERDAM, Holland, Oct. 9 — Ahoy Sports Palace played host to the first ever Bushido Europe event showcasing some top PRIDE fighters versus local European talent.

Sadly, most fights were lackluster at best, partly due to some last-minute card changes and some poor matchmaking. Having said that, the show ended on a high note with Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures) scoring one of the most brutal knockouts in recent MMA history over his Dutch opponent Rene Rooze (Pictures).

As was expected, the fight between PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) and Bob Schrijber (Pictures) didn't take place due to Fedor's existing hand injury.

Since most of the MMA fights had lasted no more than two minutes, the crowd was hoping for an all-out war to end the show on a high note. Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures), however, had other plans as he charged in right and walked through Rooze's initial strikes.

Fedor’s brother replied with several hard blows to Rooze's head and as Rooze dropped to the ground Aleksander took advantage of the PRIDE rules, finishing off with knees to the head. Despite this being yet another short fight, the crowd was on its feet and more noisy than during any other point in the show.

Rooze was out cold for several minutes but luckily managed to get up on his own before the medical team arrived with a stretcher.

Takedown defense is a huge weakness of Dutch fighters and someone like Mark Coleman (Pictures) can definitely expose that. Coleman faked a punch and scored a slam takedown, landing in side-mount. From there he applied an arm-triangle choke, and though it was not fully secured, he managed to squeeze tight enough to get his opponent, Milco Voorn (Pictures), to eventually tap.

Unlike the MMA fights, the kickboxing fights were almost all very evenly matched and almost all went the distance. For an MMA purist, the kickboxing matches can be somewhat tedious to sit through. However, it is clear the Dutch fans prefer stand-up action to ground work.

Tryrone Spong and Vincent Vielvoye offered lots of stand-up action that got the crowd going. The only knockdown came in the final round when Spong landed a punch to Vielvoye's face. This was enough to secure the decision for Spong.

While Kevin Randleman (Pictures) and Fatih Kocamis (Pictures) participated in the only MMA fight to go the distance, it was probably also the biggest disappointment of the night. As expected, Randleman took down Kocamis at will with excellent double- and single-leg slam takedowns as well as trips from the clinch. However, once in his opponent’s guard, Randleman opted to play it safe rather than go for a brutal finish like in his shocking victory over Mirko Filipovic (Pictures).

Throughout the course of the bout, both fighters received several warnings for inactivity from the referee. By virtue of the takedowns and total ground control, Randleman was awarded the decision and loud boos from the Dutch crowd.

Nicolas Pettas made his comeback to the ring after several years of layoff due to the horrible shin-snap injury he suffered in K-1 a few years ago. The first round of his kickboxing bout versus Gohkan Saki offered back-and-forth action as both fighters landing some good shots.

Saki upped the pace in the second round and seemed to be getting the upper hand. However, a second before the bell rang, Pettas landed a hard shot that clearly injured Saki, who dropped to the ground and was unable to recover before the third round, forcing his corner to throw in the towel.

The tension between Ashwin Balrak and Jerrel Venetiaan (Pictures) built up with a fiery pre-fight stare down. Sadly the kickboxing bout didn't manage to live up to the build-up mainly because this was a case of two extremely skilled fighters neutralizing each other completely.

All five rounds offered the same back-and-forth action with neither man coming close to scoring a knockdown. Understandably, the result was a split decision, with Balrak getting the nod.

In what was Ronnie Rivano's retirement match, the expectation was that he would leave the MMA world with one final moment of glory. Unfortunately, his inactivity in the past few years was evident as he was totally outgunned right from the start.

Chico Martinez charged in aggressively with punches and immediately dropped Rivano. It looked as though he would finish it on the ground with strikes but Rivano survived the onslaught and managed to stand up. Undisturbed by this, Martinez charged in again with strikes, this time landing a hard punch to Rivano's jaw that put him out cold.

Vos Gym's Antoni Hardonk's claim to fame in MMA is his submission victory over Hammer House fighter Wes Sims (Pictures). Ibragim Magomedov (Pictures) is a seasoned veteran in the European MMA circuit and was the definite favorite in this fight, despite taking this fight on a few days notice.

The fight started off with a huge straight punch from Magomedov that cleanly knocked Hardonk down. Magomedov followed up with punches on the ground but Hardonk tied him up and managed to regain his composure. The rest of the round featured Magomedov dealing out light ground-and-pound while his opponent hung on. The referee stood the fighters up a several times during the round, but Magomedov would always score the takedown and end up in Hardonk's guard.

In the second round it was clear that Magomedov had nothing left in the gas tank. The fighters circled the ring and Hardonk continuously landed hard low kicks and some good punches. Magomedov survived the strikes and scored another takedown, but the referee wrongly stood them up within a few seconds of hitting the ground.

With just a few minutes left in the fight, it seemed as though Magomedov would manage to score a few more takedowns and ride out the clock. However he instead turned to his corner and signaled to stop the fight due to what seemed to be exhaustion.

In another overly well-balanced kickboxing match, Imro Main was more consistent than his opponent William Diender, landing punches and kicks throughout the fight. Diender either covered up or completely dished out everything he had in sporadic flurries. But neither man scored a knockdown. In the final round a cut over Diender's eye forced the referee to end the fight.

Lasting no more than a minute, Rodney Faverus scored a quick TKO victory when Tsuyoshi Tajima was cut in an initial exchange. Despite the corner of Tajima trying to treat the cut, the referee was forced to end the kickboxing bout.

In spite of being the opening match of the event, Gegard Mousasi and Stefan Klever had a lot at stake, as these two men are considered the top two mixed martial artists under 90-kilos on the Dutch circuit.

Mousasi has racked up several wins over Dutch fighters and also a few wins abroad, including a big victory in the cage of the Russian M-1 MFC. Stefan Klever is the current RINGS Holland champion. However what should have been an evenly-matched fight turned out to be a one-sided beatdown with Gegard Mousasi winning by TKO within three minutes.

He started the fight with an explosive flurry followed by a takedown. After some brief ground-and-pound he stood back up and finished the fight with another flurry of strikes. Mousasi has cleaned house in the middleweight division on the Dutch circuit and it would seem he is ready for bigger things. A worthy foreign opponent at PRIDE’s Bushido would seem like a logical next step.
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