PRIDE 32: The Real Deal Preview

Here is a preview of PRIDE 32: The Real Deal that John and I put together.

Fight Card:
-Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mark Coleman
-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Kevin Randleman
-Josh Barnett vs. Pawel Nastula
-Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort
-Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Travis Galbraith
-Joey Villasenor vs. Robbie Lawler
-Phil Baroni vs. Yosuke Nishijima
-Sean O’Haire vs. Eric “Butterbean” Esch

Fedor Emelianenko (23-1) vs Mark Coleman (15-7)

Fedor Emelianenko is currently pound for pound the toughest fighter in the world. Training with the Red Devil Sport Club, Fedor is the current PRIDE heavyweight champion. He was the 1998 bronze medalist in the Russian Judo Championships, the 2002 World Sambo heavyweight champion, and the 2005 World Combat Sambo champion. Fedor brings vicious ground and pound to the octagon to go along with his excellent striking and wrestling.

Last 10 Fights:

Win – Wagner da Conceicao Martins – Submission (Punches) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2005
Win – Mirko Filipovic – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2005
Win – Tsuyoshi Kohsaka – TKO (Doctor Stoppage) – PRIDE: Bushido 6
Win – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004
NC – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – No Contest (Cut) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2004
Win – Naoya Ogawa – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2004
Win – Kevin Randleman – Submission (Kimura) – PRIDE: Critical Conflict 2004
Win – Mark Coleman – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2004
Win – Yuji Nagata – TKO (Punches) – Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003: Inoki Festival
Win – Gary Goodridge – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2003

Strengths: Fedor has excellent cardio and he is currently the best pound for pound fighter in the world. He throws hard accurate punches to go along with his devastating ground and pound and submissions.

Weaknesses: Fedor is coming off surgery on his hand and also last time these two guys met Fedor stated that Coleman came closest to beating him.

Mark Coleman is a legendary fighter who has spent time fighting for both PRIDE and UFC. Coleman has also held the heavyweight belts in both organizations. Coleman is the founder of the ever so famous Hammer House team which is home to the likes of Phil Baroni, Kevin Randleman and Wes Sims. Coleman is a freakishly strong athlete who has an excellent wrestling background. As an amateur wrestler Coleman competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Last 10 Fights:

Win – Mauricio Rua – TKO (Injury) – PRIDE 31: Dreamers
Win – Milco Voorn – Submission (Choke) – Bushido Europe: Rotterdam Rumble
Loss – Mirko Filipovic – KO (Punches) – PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire
Loss – Fedor Emelianenko – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2004
Win – Don Frye – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE 26: Bad to the Bone
Loss – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Submission (Triangle/Armbar) – PRIDE 16: Beast From The East
Win – Allan Goes – TKO (Knees) – PRIDE 13: Collision Course
Win – Igor Vovchanchyn – Submission (Strikes) – PRIDE: Grand Prix 2000 Finals
Win – Akira Shoji – Decision –PRIDE: Grand Prix 2000 Finals

Strengths: Coleman is a very strong talented wrestler. He has great ground and pound along with some excellent experience. He is coming off a big win over Shogun and also he should have some extra confidence knowing Fedor said Coleman was the toughest match he had ever had.

Weaknesses: Coleman’s cardio is a question at times and his striking isn’t at the same level as Fedor’s.

Mauricio Rua (13-2) vs Kevin Randleman (16-11)

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is currently one of the best light heavyweights in the world. Rua is a product of the well known Chute Boxe Academy which is home to the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Murilo Rua, and Evangelista Santos among others. Shogun is an excellent Muay Thai specialists but he also has a solid ground game. It’ll be interesting to see how “Shogun” adapts to having no soccer kicks or head stomps. “Shogun’s” only two losses are two UFC light heavyweight Renato Sobral and Mark Coleman. “Shogun” was forced to spend some time on the sideline earlier this year after he suffered a devastating elbow injury in the fight with Mark Coleman.

Last 10 Fights:

Win – Cyrille Diabate – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Loss - Mark Coleman – TKO (Injury) – PRIDE 31: Dreamers
Win – Ricardo Arona – KO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2005
Win – Alistair Overeem – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2005
Win - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2005
Win – Quinton Jackson – TKO (Knees) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Win – Hiromitsu Kanehara – TKO (Stomp) – PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire
Win – Yashuhito Namekawa – TKO (Punches) – PRIDE: Bushido 5
Win – Akihiro Gono – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Bushido 2
Win – Akira Shoji – KO – PRIDE: Bushido 1

Strengths: “Shogun” is an excellent striker who possesses excellent strikes and knees. The majority of his wins have come by TKO/KO and you’ll know he’ll be gunning to make Randleman another victim.

Weaknesses: The one thing that may be a problem for “Shogun” coming into this fight is the fact that the NSAC commission isn’t allowing stomps or soccer kicks. “Shogun” is known for using stomps as a guard pass and he has also finished opponents with soccer kicks. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.

Kevin “The Montster” Randleman is a product of Hammer House and he is a veteran of both PRIDE and UFC. Randleman is a very good wrestling who uses his explosiveness to slam his opponents into another world. Randleman is the former UFC heavyweight champion. Randleman has spent quite a bit of time on the shelf as of late due to a very serious lung infection he had which had him fearing for his life. He recently had shoulder surgery and now he feels he is better then ever.

Last 10 Fights:

Win – Fatih Kocamis – Decision (Unanimous) – Bushido Europe: Rotterdam Rumble
Loss – Kazuhiro Nakamura – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Loss – Mirko Filipovic – Submission (Guillotine) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004
Loss – Ron Waterman – Submission (Keylock) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2004
Loss – Fedor Emelianenko – Submission (Kimura) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2004
Win – Mirko Filipovic – KO (Punches) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2004
Loss – Kazushi Sakuraba – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2003
Loss – Quinton Jackson – TKO (Punches) – PRIDE 25: Body Blow
Win – Murilo Rua – TKO (Cut) – PRIDE 24: Cold Fury 3
Win – Kenichi Yamamoto – TKO – PRIDE 23: Championship Chaos 2

Strengths: Randleman is a very explosive wrestler with an ability to unleash vicious slams. Randleman has vicious ground and pound and some good strikes on the feet.

Weaknesses: Randleman’s attitude and style hurts him. He is all about giving the fans an exciting fight so win or lose he’ll come out and bang and whoever goes down is the better man. Randleman has also shown he can be submitted easily.

Dan Henderson (20-5) vs Vitor Belfort (14-7)

Dan Henderson is a very decorated Greco Roman wrestler. He made it to both the 1992 and 1996 USA Olympic wrestling teams. Henderson is associated with Team Quest and he is the current PRIDE welterweight champion. Henderson trains in boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Henderson is a veteran of both PRIDE and UFC. Henderson’s UFC appearance came back in 1998 when he won the UFC 17 middleweight tournament. Since that time he has fought 16 times in PRIDE.

Last 10 Fights:

Loss – Kazuo Misaki – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Bushido 12
Win – Kazuo Misaki – Decision (Unanimous) – PRIDE: Bushido 10
Win – Murilo Bustamante – Decision (Split) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2005
Win – Akihiro Gono – KO (Punch) – PRIDE: Bushido 9
Win – Ryo Chonan – KO (Punch) – PRIDE: Bushido 9
Loss – Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Win – Yuki Kondo – Decision (Split) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2004
Win – Kazuhiro Nakamura – TKO (Injury) – PRIDE 28: High Octane
Win – Murilo Bustamante – KO – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2003
Win – Shungo Oyama – TKO (Punches) – PRIDE 25: Body Blow

Strengths: Henderson possesses excellent wrestling skills along with a great sprawl and a vicious right hand. Henderson has great cardio and plenty of experience which will help him fighting in front of the American fans.

Weaknesses: Though he has all the tools you could want as a fighter, Henderson has shown he is susceptible to submissions and he also lacks the finishing touch at times. Quite a few of Henderson’s fights make it to decision.

Vitor Belfort is the former UFC heavyweight champion and he is a veteran of both PRIDE and UFC. Belfort has loads of talent but at times he fails to show it, when coming into a fight, fans always question what Vitor Belfort will show up. Belfort has both excellent strikes along with an excellent ground game. Belfort has spent times boxing and he is a black belt under Carlson Gracie. Belfort trains out in Brazil with the likes of the Nogueira brothers among others

Last 10 Fights:

Win – Yoshiki Takahashi – KO (Punch) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute
Loss – Alistair Overeem – Decision (Unanimous) – Strikeforce: Revenge
Win – Antony Rea – KO – Cage Rage 14: Punishment
Loss – Alistair Overeem – Submission (Guillotine) – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Loss – Tito Ortiz – Decision (Split) – UFC 51: Super Saturday
Loss – Randy Couture – TKO (Doctor Stoppage) – UFC 49: Unfinished Business
Win – Randy Couture – TKO (Cut) – UFC 46: Supernatural
Win – Marvin Eastman – TKO (Strikes) – UFC 43: Meltdown
Loss – Chuck Liddell – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 37.5: As Real As It Gets
Win – Heath Herring – Decision – PRIDE 14: Clash of the Titans

Strengths: Obviously coming into this fight Belfort has the ability to stand with Henderson and he can also handle him on the ground. The one advantage Henderson has is his wrestling ability but besides that Belfort is just as good at everything else.

Weaknesses: My one question is which Vitor Belfort will fans see Saturday night? Vitor has all the skill in the world but his mental state really hurts him at times.

Josh Barnett (19-4) vs Pawel Nastula (1-2)

Josh Barnett trains with AMC Pankration along with Team Question. Barnett is the former UFC heavyweight champion but he was stripped of his title as he tested positive for an anabolic agent. His fighting license was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission so from that time on he has been fighting over in Japan. Barnett’s style is catch wrestling but his opponent must be ready for everything. Barnett can do it all, strike, wrestling, and grapple. Barnett will be making his return for the United States for the first time in four years.

Last 10 Fights:

Loss – Mirko Filipovic – Submission (Strikes) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Win – Antonio Rodrigo – Decision (Split) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Win – Mark Hunt – Submission (Kimura) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute
Win – Aleksander Emelianenko – Submission (Keylock) – PRIDE: Total Elimination Absolute
Win – Kazuhiro Nakamura – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – PRIDE 31: Dreamers
Loss – Mirko Filipovic – Decision (Unanimous) – Pride 30: Fully Loaded
Loss – Miko Filipovic – Submission (Injury) – PRIDE 28: High Octane
Win – Rene Rooze – TKO (Punches) – K-1: Romanex
Win – Semmy Schilt – Submission (Armbar) – Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003: Inoki Festival
Win – Yoshiki Takahashi – Submission (Triangle/Armbar) – NJPW: Ultimate Crush

Strengths: Barnett possesses a very well rounded game. I expect Barnett to come in here and make a statement early against his less experience opponent. Barnett has great wrestling, striking and grappling so he should be able to overwhelm him opponent. Barnett also has the edge in experience in this fight and he is fresh after fighting one month against in the PRIDE Open Weight Grand-Prix.

Weaknesses: I honestly don’t see anything in this fight that will play against Barnett. He is in good shape, he has the experience edge and he has better strikes, submissions and wrestling.

Pawel Nastula is a very talented judo practitioner who is making his venture into the ever evolving mixed martial arts scene. Nastula is considered one of the top judo players in the world. He was the 1995 and 1997 Judo World Champion, and he won a gold medal in 1996 at the Olympics.

Last 3 Fights:

Win – Edson Drago – Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute
Loss – Aleksander Emelianenko – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – PRIDE: Shockwave 2005
Loss – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2005

Strengths: Coming into this fight Pawl Nastula will bring a great judo game but that’s about it. He has shown he can be beat as he is 1-2 with a loss by submission and TKO.

Weaknesses: Experience is a huge factor for Nastula. PRIDE has taken this guy and thrown him in against some of the best heavyweights in the world. Nastula is always dangerous with his judo but I don’t feel he had rounded out his game enough to beat Barnett who is currently one of the best heavyweights around.

Kazuhiro Nakamura (10-5) vs Travis Galbraith (10-3)

Kazuhiro Nakamura is a product of the Yoshida Dojo in Japan, trained by the legendary Hidehiko Yoshida himself. He was a Judo gold medalist in the 1992 Olympics and is known as one of the top Judo black belts in the world. Nakamura is also very proficient in boxing, an art that he picked up at the start of his MMA career. Nakamura is a Pride veteran to say the least – every single one of his fights has been in the organization.

Last 10 Fights:

Win - Yoshihiro Nakao – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Win - Evangelista Santos - Submission (Keylock) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute
Loss - Josh Barnett - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) - PRIDE 31: Dreamers
Win - Yuki Kondo – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Shockwave 2005
Win - Igor Vovchanchyn – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2005
Loss - Wanderlei Silva - TKO (Strikes) – PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2005
Win - Kevin Randleman – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Total Elimination 2005
Win - Stefan Leko - TKO (Strikes) - PRIDE 29: Fists Of Fire
Loss - Dan Henderson - TKO (Injury) - PRIDE 28: High Octane
Win - Murilo Bustamante – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Final Conflict 2004

Strengths: Nakamura’s judo and strikes are enough to keep an opponent off-balance all night long. His biggest strength perhaps is his ability to keep his composure. Nakamura has remained calm in every fight that he has been in, no matter how bad the situation.

Weaknesses: Let’s just say his BJJ isn’t the best. Even though he has beaten some talented ground fighters, he has been submitted multiple times in his career.

Travis Galbraith is a King of the Cage veteran and currently the third-ranked light-heavyweight in the organization. Galbraith has also fought at middleweight throughout the course of his career as well. He fights out of the Prince George Fight Club, a smaller stable featuring up and coming fighters from Canada.

Last 10 Fights:

Win - Ricardeau Francois - Submission (Guillotine Choke) – KOTC: Widowmaker
Win - Chris Peak - Submission (Guillotine Choke) – KOTC: Anarchy
Win - Todd Seyler - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – KOTC: Firestorm
Win - Chris Wilson - TKO - MFC 8: Resurrection
Loss - Jonathan Goulet - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) - TKO 16: Infernal
Win - Chris Carroll - Submission - Extreme Fighting Challenge 2
Win - Kevin Dolan - Submission (Guillotine Choke) - MFC 7: Undisputed
Win - Steve Thurston - KO - MFC 6: Road To Gold
Loss - Georges St. Pierre - TKO (Strikes) - UCC 11: The Next Level
Loss - Joe Doerksen - Submission (Triangle Choke) - World Freestyle Fighting 2

Strengths: Galbraith is a very well-rounded fighter. He has superior skills standing and on the ground. He has also faced top competition in the form of Georges St. Pierre, Joe Doersken, and Jonathan Goulet.

Weaknesses: Galbraith has a habit of losing his cool when the going gets tough, that’s something that may be exploiting against a fighter like Nakamura who generally never loses his composure.

Joey Villasenor (22-4) vs Robbie Lawler (11-4)

Joey Villasenor is currently the King of the Cage Middleweight Champion. Villasenor made his Pride debut at Bushido 11, losing a split decision to Ryo Chonan. Villasenor trains with Jackson’s Submission Fighting and is a Gaidojutsu black belt under Jackson. Villasenor holds the MMA record for the fastest win – four seconds.

Last 10 Fights:

Win - John Cronk - TKO - KOTC: Civil War
Loss - Ryo Chonan – Split Decision – PRIDE: Bushido 11
Win - Yuya Shirai – Unanimous Decision – DEEP: 24th Impact
Win - Kyacey Uscola - TKO – KOTC: Anarchy
Win - Jorge Santiago – Unanimous Decision – KOTC: Prime Time
Win - Damien Riccio - TKO – KOTC: Warzone
Win - Michael Gonzalez - Submission (Choke) – KOTC: Grudge Match
Win - Brendan Seguin - TKO – KOTC: Payback
Win - Jorge Ortiz - Submission (Strikes) – KOTC: Hostile Takeover
Win - Brian Foster - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – KOTC: San Jacinto

Robbie Lawler is a UFC veteran who will be making his Pride debut this Saturday night. Lawler is a member of Miletich Fighting Systems and has been training with them since the beginning of his career. Lawler is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a former ICON Sport Middleweight Champion, recently losing the belt to Jason Miller in his last fight.

Last 10 Fights:

Loss - Jason Miller - Submission (Arm Triangle) - Icon Sport: Mayhem vs Lawler
Win - Falaniko Vitale - KO - Icon Sport: Lawler vs. Niko 2
Win - Jeremy Brown - Submission (Armbar) – KOTC: Xtreme Edge
Win - Falaniko Vitale - KO – Superbrawl: Icon
Loss - Evan Tanner - Submission (Triangle Choke) - UFC 50: The War of ‘04
Loss - Nick Diaz - KO (Punches) - UFC 47: It’s On
Win - Chris Lytle Unanimous Decision - UFC 45: Revolution 11/21/2003
Loss - Pete Spratt - Submission (Injury - UFC 42: Sudden Impact
Win - Tiki Ghosn - TKO (Strikes) - UFC 40: Vendetta
Win - Steve Berger - TKO (Strikes) - UFC 37.5: As Real As It Gets

Strengths: Lawler is a very dangerous striker and pushes a heavy pace during his fights. He is a quick finisher and trains with one of the top MMA camps in the world.

Weaknesses: Lawler sometimes gets caught in predicaments because of his aggressiveness. He has to watch himself against talented ground fighters as he still shows trouble of being able to defend submissions well.

Phil Baroni (9-7) vs. Yosuke Nishijima (0-3)

Phil Baroni is a UFC and Pride veteran who is known as of the most brash fighters in the sport. He is also a professional boxer and has a good number of knockouts on notable MMA fighters. Baroni has competed in 5 Bushido events, garnering wins over Yuki Kondo, Ryo Chonan, and Ikuhisa Minowa. He has suffered losses to Kazuo Misaki and Ikuhisa Minowa while competing in Pride.

Last 10 Fights:

Loss - Kazuo Misaki – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Bushido 11
Win - Yuki Kondo - KO (Punch) – PRIDE: Bushido 10
Loss - Ikuhisa Minowa – Unanimous Decision – PRIDE: Bushido 9
Win - Ryo Chonan - KO (Punch) PRIDE: Bushido 8
Win - Ikuhisa Minowa - TKO (Stomps) – PRIDE: Bushido 7
Win - Chris Cruit - Submission (Armbar) - Extreme Fighting Challenge 11
Loss - Pete Sell - Submission (Guillotine Choke) - UFC 51: Super Saturday
Loss - Evan Tanner – Unanimous Decision - UFC 48: Payback
Loss - Evan Tanner - TKO (Strikes) - UFC 45: Revolution
Loss - Matt Lindland – Unanimous Decision - UFC 41: Onslaught

Strengths: Baroni has knockout power in both hands – He is a quick and powerful striker with the potential to knock out just about anyone.

Weaknesses: Baroni isn’t very good on the ground to put it nicely. He also has been criticized for his stamina at times as well.

Yosuke Nishijima is a former professional boxer and Pride veteran who hasn’t seen very much success in his MMA career so far. All of his fights have been with Pride and every single one of them have been losses - Evangelista Santos, Hidehiko Yoshida, and Mark Hunt have all gotten the best of him.

Last 3 Fights:

Loss - Evangelista Santos - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – PRIDE: Final Conflict Absolute
Loss - Hidehiko Yoshida - Submission (Triangle Choke) – PRIDE: Total Elimination Absolute
Loss - Mark Hunt - KO (Punch) - PRIDE 31: Dreamers

Strengths: Nishijima’s striking is top notch and a fight against Baroni should be an all-out war on the feet.

Weaknesses: Very little experience even though he was thrown to the wolves in his first three fights. He has very little experience on the ground.

Sean O’Haire vs. Eric “Butterbean” Esch

Sean O’Haire is a former professional wrestler who has worked in both WWE and WCW. O’Haire is also a professional boxer and kickboxer who has won 17 Toughman competitions throughout his career. O’Haire will be making his Pride debut after beginning his career in the K-1 and Rumble on the Rock promotions.

Last 2 Fights:

Loss - Min Soo Kim - Submission (Guillotine Choke) - K-1: Seoul Hero’s
Win - Shungo Oyama - TKO (Punches) - Rumble on the Rock 6

Strengths: O’Haire is a potent striker and is a phenomenal athlete.

Weaknesses: He isn’t very knowledgeable on the ground. Overall experience is lacking.

Eric Esch is known around the world as “Butterbean”. Esch is a professional boxer who has amassed 72 wins in boxing including 52 by KO – His opponents have mainly been mid-level, club fighters although he is a former IBF Super Heavyweight Champion. Esch has developed a cult following and is followed by hundreds of fans who attend just about all of his events.

Last 9 Fights:

Loss - Ikuhisa Minowa - Submission (Armbar) – PRIDE: Bushido 12
Win - Rich Weeks - Submission - Korea vs USA
Win - Matt Eckerle - Submission - Fightfest 4
Win - Aaron Aguilera - Submission (Choke) - Rumble on the Rock 9
Win - Leo Sylvest - Submission (Choke) - Fightfest 2
Win - Wesley Correira - TKO (Doctor Stoppage) - Rumble on the Rock 8
Win - Walley Keenboom - Submission - Royce Gracie Fightfest
Draw - Michael Buchkovich - Draw – KOTC: Payback
Loss - Genki Sudo - Submission (Heel Hook) - K-1: Premium 2003 Dynamite

Strengths: Knockout power in both hands and tremendous size.

Weaknesses: Extremely overweight, very slow, not athletic.

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