Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pride forever

For a decade beginning in 1997 Pride FC was the leading MMA organization in the world. They had the strongest fighters, largest budget and best production values. The Japanese promotion ran into financial difficulties and went under in 2007, but serious fans will always remember the Pride decade with great fondness.

Students of the sport of MMA will note that subtle rule differences between Pride and the UFC had significant impact. UFC rules slightly favor wrestlers -- for example, knees and kicks to the head of a kneeling opponent are illegal, reducing the risk for a wrestler shooting a lower body takedown.


Shawn said...

On one hand, it is impossible to see who is really the best fighter when rules exist. On the other hand, if there are no rules, would those with the highest potential risk mortal injury to compete?

steve hsu said...

The benefits that wrestlers get under UFC rules usually help them win decisions -- so called "lay and pray" victories where they get their opponent down but can't finish the fight decisively. IIRC, Pride and other Japanese organizations had a "damage done" criterion in their judging which would change a lot of those decisions. Ultimately any fight that goes to the judges' cards is disappointing and to me any split decision is almost the equivalent of a draw in MMA. Probably more than you wanted to know :-)

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a reader said...

Cool to see another MMA fan in the HBD-sphere. Do you know that Pride's downfall was largely due to its takeover by the Yakuza?

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