Yesterday marked the 2 year anniversary of the Pride Fighting Championships final event, Pride 34. Now we all know the story of its demise and all the negative allegations that followed and if you don’t, I’ve heard Google is a wonderful invention. All jokes aside, whenever I hear anyone talking about Pride I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside because the memories I have of it always put a smile on my face.
I will admit it and anyone who has followed MMA Scraps since the beginning will certainly agree, I was a bonafide Pride fan boy. Not a Pride nuthugger because I did not hate on the UFC and I did enjoy watching the UFC. Did I think Pride was better than the UFC and did I favor it? Yes. The whole reason I started this thing is because of Pride. Sure I watched the old UFC’s and some Vale Tudo stuff, but it wasn’t until I was shown my first Wanderlei Pride fight that I truly got hooked.
Its funny, I remember it like it was an important world event, like the moon landing or 9/11. I remember going to my sister’s house and my brother-in-law getting excited like a little girl about showing me these fight DVDs. The first fight he showed me was Wanderlei Silva vs. Dan Henderson 1 from Pride 12. I was completely hooked right off the bat, that stare down was brutal and a classic scrap followed. I even enjoyed the ground fighting immediately, which sometimes isn’t the case, I’ve learned. This is when my love affair with MMA truly began.
Without Pride we may not have witnessed:
-The King Kong sized heart of Minotauro Nogueira
-The viciousness of Wandy(Soccer Kicks, anyone?)
-Fedor vs. Crocop, It was Ali/Frazier for us MMA fans
-Ryo Chonan’s crazy scissor heel hook on Anderson Silva
-Fedor’s brutal ground and pound
-Sakuraba vs the Gracie’s
-Bas Rutten Commentary, who can forget the liver kick?
-The Wanderlei/Jackson rivalry
-Igor Vovchanchyn’s crazy KO of Francisco Bueno
-Don Frye and Takayama beating each other’s brains in
I could go on and on and just for good measure I’ve included Boondock’s “3rd Man” ref cam highlight below. R.I.P. Pride FC. Feel free to share your Pride stories!