DSE Officially Announces Barnett-Nogueira II, Gono-Kondo

Dec 18, 2006
PRIDE's parent company Dream Stage Entertainment has announced two more bouts for its New Year's Eve card at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.

While DSE originally indicated that the Dec. 31 card would not feature any rematches, that plan fell by the wayside with the announcement that shoot-style pro-wrestling legend Kiyoshi Tamura (Pictures) would take on former foe Ikuhisa Minowa (Pictures).

Rather than make that bout an exception, DSE continued the theme of revenge by officially adding a pair of rematches on Monday between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) and Josh Barnett (Pictures), as well as Akihiro Gono (Pictures) and Yuki Kondo (Pictures).

Nogueira and Barnett originally met in the semifinals of PRIDE's Open-Weight Grand Prix, a match-up that was anticipated by MMA fans, and rumored by promoters for over four years. Barnett, a former UFC heavyweight champion, took a hotly contested split decision over the former PRIDE heavyweight champion in perhaps the most outstanding heavyweight contest this year.

Rivalry between Gono and Kondo extends even further back in time to the rings of Pancrase in December of 2001. Early in the third round the Pancrase icon mounted Gono and began pounding away on the bloodied GRABAKA ace until his corner threw in the towel.

Five years later it is a reversal of role. Gono has risen from obscurity and emerged as one of Japan's most outstanding fighters as well as a bonafide star in PRIDE, while Kondo has won only three of his last eight bouts and has lost his last five bouts in PRIDE.

DSE has now announced eight bouts for "Shockwave." It is expected that the full line-up will contain 10 fights, as previously stated by PRIDE General Director Nobuhiko Takada (Pictures).
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