The year is 2001, and Pride FC is back for another year of events. Starting their six-event year was “Collision Course.” The event was the promotion’s second appearance at the recently built Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and featured some of the big names in the promotion.
The English broadcast featured commentary from Steven Quadros and Bas Rutten, including backstage reports from Risa Stegmayer.
The opening ceremony of the show included a performance from Noue Drummer Okura Shonosuke.
Belfort Finishes Newcomer Southworth
Returning Pride FC fighter Vitor Belfort stopped Bobby Southworth in the first round of action, slipping in a rear naked choke after being controlling on the ground.
Belfort extended his winning streak to three with this win, previously defeating Daijiro Matsui and Gilbert Yvel. He will appear again on Pride 14.
Southworth, who will be seem later in his career on The Ultimate Fighter and Strikeforce, made his first mainstream MMA appearance on this show.
Mezger Defeats Brother Inoue
Guy Mezger first wanted to fight Enson Inoue, but after he retired from MMA (for the time being), it was his brother Egan Inoue who stepped in. Mezger made quick work of Inoue, knocking him out with a right-cross early in the first round.
The win took Mezger to four wins in a row, including a win against Alexander Otsuka at Pride 12. He will return at Pride 14.
Inoue continued to do MMA fights, however this was his last appearance in a major MMA promotion.
Seconds Is All Herring Needed
Heath Herring needed less than a minute to get Denis Sobolev to tap out to a keylock in his fourth Pride appearance. Herring shot for a takedown quickly in the fight, securing a keylock from side control seconds later.
His opponent, Sobolev, had a record of 1-1 and made his Pride debut. He did not appear in a major MMA event after this.
Explosive Knockout Gives Henderson First Pride Win
Landing an uppercut to Renzo Gracie, Dan Henderson got his first win in Pride FC. The fight did not last long, with most of it consisting of Henderson stopping takedown attempts from Gracie.
The punch that put Gracie out was subtle and hard to see, with the knockout being hard to notice until a replay was shown.
Henderson made his Pride debut on the show before, losing to Wanderlei Silva via decision.
Coleman Puts Goes Out With Knees
Mark Coleman continued the train of quick stoppages on this card, stopping Alan Goes with knees to the head on the ground. The win utilized grounded knees to the head, a rule that Pride had just recently started to allow.
When Goes woke up, he attacked Coleman, thinking he was still in the fight. There was no issues between the fighters once everything got sorted out.
The win was Coleman’s return to Pride, with his last appearance being when he won the Pride 2000 Grand Prix, defeating four opponents at two events.
Yasuda Keeps Satake Usless
In his MMA debut, pro wrestler Tadao Yasuda got a split decision win over former K-1 kickboxer Masaaki Satake. Using a frustrating style of pinning Satake in the corners of the ring with body locks, Yasuda kept Satake from doing much for the entire fight.
This fight was the second loss in a row for Satake, moving his record to 2-5.
This was the last Pride FC appearance from Yasuda.
Telligman Earns Upset Win Over Vovchanchyn
Coming back from a previous loss in Pride, Tra Telligman earned a huge upset victory over Igor Vovchanchyn. After knocking him down in the first round, Telligman continued to succeed in rounds one and two through takedowns.
In the previous year, Vovchanchyn went 7-1, only losing to Mark Coleman.
Despite the win, Telligman did not appear in Pride FC again, appearing in the UFC in his next two appearances.
Silva Storms Through Sakuraba
In the main event, Wanderlei Silva brutally stopped Kazushi Sakuraba with strikes after landing lots of punches, knees and kicks to the head.
The fight gave Sakuraba his second loss as a pro, with the first one being due to exhaustion (he had fought a 90-minute bout earlier in the night and forfeited after 10 minutes of the second fight).
Silva scored with many soccer kicks to the head in the fight, doing so to Sakuraba while he was grounded. The fight ended after a series of strikes went unanswered by Sakuraba, who was concious throughout.
Pride Heads To Yokohama
Pride FC’s next event in 2001 was at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. The card featured big names in Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, and more, but it does not feature Kazushi Sakuraba.
On Saturday, Knockdown News will take a look at UFC 31: “Locked and Loaded,” which had a main event that featured Randy Couture attempting to make his first defence in his second reign as UFC Heavyweight Champion, being put up against Pedro Rizzo.