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Pride FC made its triumphant return to Las Vegas last Saturday night (2/24/07) for another amazing event! Excellent fight card, which produced great fights, which resulted in a few surprise upsets!
Full coverage coming soon!!! Check back often!

Mark "The Hammer" Coleman speaks!!!




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Pride FC finally made its debut this past weekend at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and the Japanese-based fighting organization hit the American MMA scene with a bang! Everything was top notch all the way. Pride, being known for its high production values, spared no expense for this epic event. Each fighters' introduction could be likened to that of the main event at a rock concert, with the energy & flamboyance only topped by the fighter's actual entrance into to ring. All of the fighters were given a grand entrance, which included an elevator rising up from the bottom of the stage (think- Apollo Creed and the Russian from Rocky IV), a laser show, pyrotechnics, and a glorious stroll down the cat walk to well-themed music blasting through an enormous house system.

Any fight fan familiar with MMA events held by other organizations would be highly impressed with this well-organized event, which included a Ring Girl demonstration/ performance and a 20 minute intermission, allowing the Pride staff to keep the evening on schedule. As with all Pride FC events, the winner of each bout had an opportunity to address the sold-out arena. To note: "New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni was quick to address the ladies with an apology for carrying so much extra water weight & body fat, and that his muscles weren't more rippling. A real people's champ, that Bad Ass...

One of the more honorable speeches came from new-comer to the MMA stage and legend in his own right Eric "Buttterbean" Esch, who was very gracious in victory and expressed deep gratitude for simply being there.

Video coverage from Kevin Randleman's after-party coming soon!
In the meantime, check out the pics below, and fight results at the bottom of the page!

 


Eric "Butterbean" Esch & I
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"New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni & I
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Dan Henderson & I
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Kevin Randleman & I
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The Beast & a couple of beauties
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Kevin & his crew
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Pride's patented voice of the ring!
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The sold out Cox Pavilian
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Wanderlei Silva calls out "The Ice Man"...
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PHIL "NEW YORK BAD ASS" BARONI vs YOSUKE NISHIJIMA

In classic "New York Bad Ass" fashion, Phil danced his way down the cat walk & into the ring, then proceeded to beat the living shit out of his opponent. This guy is a true force in the 185lb division. He needs some serious competition before he's too old to face some of the popular up-and-comers of today! It's not going to happen, but I'd love to see him face Rich "Ace" Franklin. Franklin could use a good come-back right about now.


DAN HENDERSON vs VITOR BELFORT

Dan Henderson was able to pull out a grueling decision victory over "The Phenom" Vitor Belfort, by dominating both the stand-up & ground game. A very energetic & explosive performance by both worriers.


ERIC "BUTTERBEAN" ESCH vs SEAN HAIRE

Butterbean came out swinging, and quickly delivered a couple of solid shots that dropped his opponent. The Ref quickly jumped in to end the fight. It was a victorious MMA debut for the former boxing champ. He''s quickly proving himself to be quite a force to reckoned with.


JOSH BARNETT vs PAWEL NASTULA

Josh Barnett was taking a pretty vicious beating from the rookie in the stand-up game, but was able to finish with an efficient & decisive leg lock. At the post-fight, Josh went on to liken a good leg lock to a starving man being offered a piece of meat.. if he sees an available leg he licks his lips and jumps on it. Got any B.B.Q. sauce?


KEVIN RANDLEMAN vs MAURICIO "SHOGUN" RUA

Despite his wealth of skills, immense natural strength, heart of steel & sheer will, Mauricio _Shogun" Rua had no problem defeating the former UFC champ Kevin Randleman with a devastating leg lock that should have ended the fight about :45 before he finally tapped, in utter agony! Randleman just kept hanging on with all of his will as the joint lock got deeper & deeper. You could actually see the pain and despair on kevin's face as he resisted the tap, up until the very second right before the actual knee cap was compromised. What a war!
More than gracious in defeat, Kevin Randleman offered the fans a heart-felt apology, and even invited me (and my camera) to his after-party at Mynxx Strip Club, where we proceeded to party all night long! Check the footage!!!


FEDOR EMELIANKO vs MARK "THE HAMMER" COLEMAN

You've got to hand it to The Hammer. He may be 42(+) years old, but he's still the "God Father of Ground & Pound", and can hang with the toughest in the world. In fact, he managed to drag the reigning Heavyweight champ all the way through entire first round, and most of the second. He was able to hold off Fedor's punishing onslaught, while attempting his patented single & double leg take-downs, and even managed to bring down the big Russian a couple of times throughout. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to stop the Fedor's fury and power. It was a bloody mess when the Ref finally stopped the beating. Coleman's heart shined through as he brought his 2 young daughters in the ring to take in the moment.
-To the leman, it may have seen a little bit awkward. In fact, Fedor mentioned that he felt a little uncomfortable, during the post-fight. However, Phil Baroni (believe it or not!) pust it best when he said that Mark Coleman is a world champ and wanted his daughters to see, for the first time, exactly what his life is all about, for better or for worse. It was certainly a moment not to be forgotten. And yet, The Hammer still has no plans of retiring anytime soon!

 

 

 

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