Pride FC was arguably the catalyst for modern mixed martial arts in the West, and continues to be one of the most talked about promotions to date. The rules allowing knees, stomps and kicks to grounded opponents made fights very exciting and dynamic. Ref cams made you feel up close to the action, and ten minute opening rounds meant that athletes had to be in top condition.
In a rare weekend without a UFC event, reflecting back to a simpler time for MMA seems fitting. In 10 years, the Pride FC promotion put on 68 shows, with an average of 6.8 shows per annum. The UFC is putting on around 50 per year, although they arguably have a lot more fighters to keep active.
The recent news that the UFC is forecast to make a 40% loss on profit leads many to believe that the sport has already peaked in popularity. Bad signs for a sport that is so young. Anyway, back to the subject in point, who was your favorite fighter during the glory years of Pride FC?
Perhaps the dominant heavyweight force Fedor Emelianenko was your idol with a 14-0 record in Pride? Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva built up a cult following as the promotion’s record holding middleweight champion, as did Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for his duo of epic fights against Wandy.
Don Frye became a sensation in Japan after his crazy fight with Yoshihiro Takayama, and was at the time a 15-1 killing machine. Perhaps your favorite fighter isn’t listed, just hit the comments section if so. Also check out some cool Pride FC highlights I found on my travels!