Pride Bushido 5 Preview


Oct 13, 2004's James Hirth breaks down this weekend's PRIDE Bushido card, featuring several top-ranked competitors. Yasuhito Namekawa of RINGS Japan takes on Chute Boxe fighter Mauricio Rua; Takada Dojo's Henry Miller confronts Australian 5 Rings Dojo fighter Mal Foki; Team Rouken's Kasumasa Imanari challenges Brazilian Top Team fighter Luis Firmino; Brazilian Top Team's Ikuhisa Minowa faces U-File Camp fighter Ryuki Ueyama; Naoya Ogawa protégé Shamoji Fujii combats Igor Vovchanchyn from Team Vovchanchyn; U-File Camp's Ryo Chonan battles grappler Carlos Newton of the Warrior Martial Arts Centre; Kiguchi Dojo's Hayato Sakurai meets Ralph Gracie protégé Crosley Gracie; and in the main event, USA Martial Arts grappler Charles Bennett goes toe-to-toe with Takanori Gomi of K's Factory.



Yasuhito Namekawa: Submission fighting/RINGS Japan • 5'11 • 197 lbs. • 16-12-1

Career Against Noteworthy Opponents:

Lee Hasdell (0-1)
Ryuki Ueyama (1-1)
• Christopher Haseman (0-3)
Willie Peeters (0-1)
Alistair Overeem (0-1)
Falaniko Vitale (1-0)
Chris Munsen (1-0)
Egidijus Valavicius (1-1)
Wallid Ismail (0-1)

Pride Experience: 1-0


Mauricio Rua: Muay Thai/BJJ/Chute Boxe • 6'1 • 201 lbs. • 6-1

Career Against Noteworthy Opponents:

Evangelista Santos (1-0)
Renato Sobral (0-1)
• Akira Shoji (1-0)
Akihiro Gono (1-0)

Pride Experience: 2-0


The Better Striker: Rua. Three KO's and three TKO's leave little doubt which fighter will bring the pain. Namekawa has only been taken out with strikes on two occasions but both instances were by less than stellar pugilists.

The Better Grappler: Namekawa. Yasuhito's has 9 victories by submission (including a freakishly quick sub of Falaniko Vitale in RINGS). And let's be honest, Rua doesn't spend a lot of time grappling so who knows how good his ground skills really are.

Motivating Factors/Intangibles: After three years on the RINGS circuit and two years fighting for DEEP, Yasuhito Namekawa begins a new chapter in his career fighting for the biggest MMA show on earth. He returns to Pride off an early submission victory over a rival in a rematch and is immediately matched-up with a dangerous opponent. Victory or not, a good showing at this level of competition could keep him on the PFC payroll.

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua hasn't missed a beat from fighting in the Meca events in Brazil, to the IFC in the U.S., to Pride in Japan. He continues to wow the crowds and has quietly taken the number two spot behind Wanderlei Silva when it comes to pound-for-pound excitement from the Chute Boxe camp. If he continues to win and Pride develops weight divisions and titles for Bushido as promised, Rua is immediately in line for a title shot.

And The Winner Is: Rua. Someone will force Rua to show the full extent of his game but I don't think Namekawa is the guy. With nearly 30 MMA bouts under his belt Yasuhito is no scrub, but the match-up of strengths and styles heavily favors the Brazilian competitor.
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