DREAM 18 wasn’t the only Japanese MMA event on New Year’s Eve. Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2012 – a hybrid MMA/Pro-wrestling card – also provided the MMA community with some freak show goodness. We’ve been putting off coverage of this event until videos surfaced because frankly, when the main event features a post-prime Cro Cop vs. a disgraced sumo wrestler turned professional wrestler, well, yeah, this event can wait a few days.
The main event, Cro Cop vs. Suzukawa, proved that no matter how far past his prime he is, Cro Cop can still submit a clueless jabroni making his MMA debut. In other words, it was a decent freak show fight that played out exactly as it should have. It just wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a freak show fight, now would it?
No, the legendary Super Hluk title was not on the line.
At a glance, these fights could have just as easily been included in this morning’s can-crushing roundup. Both fights featured established names taking on little-known Korean fighters with less-than-stellar records- one of which ended rather predictably. But perhaps that wouldn’t be a fair interpretation of the phrase “can-crusher.”
Over the past three years, Melvin Manhoef has deteriorated into a fighter who is only capable of defeating his own shins, having gone 1-4 (1) since 2009. Last night, Manhoef was matched up against 14-9 (2) Korean fighter Jae Young Kim. Despite his mediocre record, Kim had won ten of his fights by knockout and wasn’t lost on the ground, either; his most recent fight was a victory by North-South choke against Hee Seung Kim.
The duo produced an entertaining three round fight that saw Manhoef walk away with a split-decision victory. Manhoef may have looked slow at times, but his ground game appears to be less of a liability than it has usually been, as he was taken down but never submitted. He now stands at 25-9-1 (1) overall.
At the minimum, last night’s Super Fight League 2 card was a small, albeit significant, improvement over the upstart promotion’s first card. The fact that Bob Sapp was not participating already ensured this. Yes, it was still riddled with the goofy, often laughably bad commentary of Phil Baroni and some other guy who I don’t really care to look up at the moment, but overall, it was able to deliver more action and dramatic finishes than this weekend’s Bellator card could account for, and considering it was free, who are we to complain? If only they could get rid of those awkward crowd shots.
But before we get to the most exciting finish, perhaps we could focus on the oddest one– Alexander Shlemenko’s first round TKO of Ikuhisa Minowa. Minowa continued his rough streak against recognizable-named opponents this morning, and it looks like he could be on the shelve for a little longer than usual this time around. For the first couple of minutes, the fight was vintage Shlemenko, featuring more spinning death attacks than a tornado in an axe factory. Minowa simply had no answer for “The Storm” on the feet, and was stalked around the cage until around the two minute mark, when Shlemenko was able to land a well timed knee to Minowa’s skull that sent him reeling backward.
Minowa seemed to be alright, reaching for a leg log in the moments afterward, but when Shlemenko was able to pull out from danger, Minowa suddenly curled up in the fetal position with an apparent rib injury. No word yet on exactly how bad he is hurt, but we’re going to guess that the injury was more, you know, real, than the quad injury that felled Sapp in his main event clash against James Thompson at SFL 1. The announcer not named Phil Baroni was kind enough to inform us that Shlemenko has now fought 13 times in the past two years. That is fucking insane. And speaking of insane, Shlemenko’s thirst for his well deserved rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard might just be driving him a bit loony. After defeating Minowa, Shlemenko gave what was perhaps the greatest post fighting interview of all time, calmly stating, ”Hey India. Hector, I kill you.” If only Lombard could come to an agreement with the Bellator brass, perhaps we could watch these two throw down again.
The Duffee/Grove video, along with the full results are after the jump.
(Contrary to what this painting implies, Minowa will not be taking on Gabe “Godzilla” Rudiger. Seems like a wasted opportunity to us.)
India-based promotion Super Fight League is quickly making waves in the MMA landscape. Aside from being the first promotion to sign an exclusive broadcast deal with Youtube, they’ve managed to sign UFC veterans Todd Duffee and Trevor Prangley and held a mildly successful first event earlier this month. Sure, Bob Sapp was there, a sentiment we are getting sicker and sicker of typing, but just listen to SFL’s theme song and tell us that these gentlemen are not on the short path to success. Go ahead. We’ll be right here. Haaaaangin out.
But if you weren’t convinced by Super Fight League’s first event, then you will be more than happy to learn that they’ve decided to move on from the undisputed queen of freak show fights in Sapp to the undisputed king of freak show fights in Ikuhisa Minowa for their next event. Oh yes, one of the greatest fighters to never hold a major title will be taking on two time Bellator middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko at SFL 2, which goes down on April 7th from Chandigarh, India.
We last saw Minowaman in action at the “meh” ProElite 3 event, where he was outpointed by TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. True to form, Minowa rebounded from the loss by picking up a first round submission over a 1-6 fighter that I am not going to bother looking up again because I already closed the tab. The Super Hulk Champion could be in for a long night against Shlemenko, a 44-7 kickboxing expert who showcased an improved submission game in his Bellator 50 guillotine joke victory over Zelg Galesic. If this fight features anything less than ten spinning backfists and a dropkick we will eat our hats.
(In the heart of the child who made it, the Super HLUK belt is the most prestigious title on the planet.)
CagePotato Roundtable is our new recurring column in which the CP writing staff and some of our friends all get together to debate an MMA-related topic. Joining us this week is MiddleEasy.com founder Zeus Tipado, who was kind enough to smoke an entire bag of PCP and channel the spirit of Wallid Ismail. If you have a suggestion for a future Roundtable column, send it to email@example.com. This week’s topic: Who’s your favorite MMA fighter to never win a major title?
We take personality for granted these days. Everywhere you look, the MMA ranks are packed with shameless self-promoters, aspiring comedians, unrepentant assholes, and assorted clown-men. But in the UFC’s infancy, fighters tended to come in two types: Stoic (see Royce Gracie, Dan Severn) and certifiably insane ( see Joe Son, Harold Howard). David “Tank” Abbott changed all that. He entered the UFC with a fully-fledged persona, and managed to stay in character through his entire career. Simply put, he was the UFC’s first villain, and he played that role more effectively than anyone has since.
Heralded as a “pit fighter” — a term invented by UFC promoter Art Davie — Tank’s martial art of choice was hitting guys in the head really hard, which he did while wearing the sort of fingerless gloves that soon become industry standard. It’s difficult to overstate the impact that Tank’s debut at UFC 6 had on a 14-year-old Ben Goldstein as I was watching the pay-per-view at my friend Josh’s house. It wasn’t just that Abbott starched John Matua in a mere 18 seconds, or that Matua’s body seized up when his head hit the canvas. It’s that Tank reacted to the knockout by mimic-ing Matua’s stiffened pose. Tank actually mocked John Matua for having a seizure. Ruthless! And how about his destruction of Steve Nelmark at the Ultimate Ultimate ’96, which had to be the first “oh shit is that guy dead?” moment in UFC history. Tank was a living reminder that the UFC was very real, and very dangerous.
Brent Schermerhorn vs. Kaleo Gambill, the lone knockout from the main card. All videos props to IronForgesIron.com
When we last checked in on ProElite, the promotion was in the midst of a heavyweight grand prix that had the announcer for the evening tweeting mid-bout that he was falling asleep. Mix in unimpressive victories for Tim Sylvia and Andre Arlovski, and a disappointing performance from Reagan Penn, and the phrase “rock bottom” comes to mind. Things could have gotten more boring, sure. But if they did, we wouldn’t waste time telling you about it.
Needless to say ProElite’s third installment, which took place last night in Hawaii, was a step in the right direction. While the main event and co-main event were nothing to write home about, the card saw some entertaining fights and quick finishes.
In the evening’s main event, Minowa started out strong, landing leg kicks against Kendall Grove and securing a takedown at the end of the round. However, Grove was able to find his range by the second round, and outpointed Minowa en route to a unanimous decision. We don’t know how much time Minowa spent training against a person sitting on someone else’s shoulders poking at him with sticks in preparation for his American debut, but our guess is “not enough”.
Remember yesterday when we found that amazing drawing of Ikuhisa Minowa fighting Godzilla, and used it as an excuse to run a relatively pointless post confirming that Minowaman would not, in fact, be fighting Brian Stann at UFC 144? Man, the crazy antics we get up to when nobody’s watching.
The thing is, we actually have some legit news to pass along about DREAM’s reigning Super Hluk [sic] champion. MMAFighting is reporting that Minowa will make his U.S. MMA debut at ProElite 3 (January 21st, Honolulu) where he’ll face rangy UFC veteran Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove. Okay, so it’s not the kind of freak-show matchup we’re used to seeing from Minowaman — but at least Grove is really tall for a middleweight.
“I thought I was fighting on the UFC card in Tokyo. I thought I was going to fight a gentleman by the name of Ikuhisa Minowa or ‘Minowaman’ and unfortunately, you know, the fight didn’t happen. He actually asked to fight me. I agreed and then for some reason it just didn’t materialize…From what I was told by the UFC, I think they already filled the main card for that one, so there’s not really any room for me anymore.”
Amidst a deadly crew of English-speaking, Russian sleeper cells, a lone FBI agent, code name Gull of the Sea (at his request), was able to infiltrate a remote, Russian facility, like so, and record the following video of the illegal toe hold technology that the Russians have been building up for years.
Aoki vs. McCullough. Enjoy it while it’s still available. Props: FightVieoMMA.com
Earlier this morning, DREAM 17 went down in Saitama, Japan. For those of you who have been reading this website for a while now, you know the drill. For those of you who are new here, first off, welcome. Second, DREAM publishes the results of their fights immediately after they happen, but the fights aren’t typically aired on HDNet until a later date. So if you feel like you’ve already read the results from somewhere or already saw the fights, well, you probably have. However, if you were really drunk last night and want to refresh your memory on what you saw (not that we condone that sort of thing), or are too disinterested in DREAM to have stayed in to watch it, then come inside where we have full results waiting after the jump.
As Japanese MMA seems to slowly dwindle away from the glory days of the sport, hardcore fans like myself shed a tear for our great loss. It wasn’t just knowing those obscure 135-pounders whose names had syllables our gaijin tongues could barely pronounce, or the fact that it was the land where stomping and soccer-kicking a human being in the face was perfected into a sweet science. More than that, it was the stars that were produced that we came to know and love, whether they were fighting someone on their level or tearing open a tomato can — and that is where this list begins.
Blatant mismatches aside, JMMA gave us so many beautiful fights with men like Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic (go tell your favorite TUF noob that his last name is not Crocop and relish in their confusion), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ikuhisa Minowa and Kazushi Sakuraba. For every epic bout that went into the history books for their unbelievable drama, we had other fights that we remember for less than pleasant reasons. Yes, the freak show fights! What would a JMMA event be without a match worthy of a 1930′s carnival? The big question here was how do I rank something that is mediocre to begin with? Well, I’m as clueless as you are, so let’s get started on this journey down “Freak Show Lane,” across the street from “What Were They Thinking? Boulevard”…
10. Daiju Takase vs. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Pride 3, 6/24/98
This was the first freak show fight in Pride history, and earns a place on this list for that merit alone. It pit 169 lb. Daiju Takase against 600 lb. Emmanuel Yarbrough, who most fans will recall was clobbered into submission by Keith Hackney and his broken hand at UFC 3 (Yarbrough has no luck in any event associated with the number three). The sumo plodded around the ring tossing his hamhock arms at Takase, while the smaller Japanese fighter fled and slowly wore down Yarbrough.
Takase makes the mistake of going for a lazy single leg on Yarbrough, which results in the large fighter flopping onto his belly and absorbing Takase into his flesh. As Stephen Quadros lamented, “This is horrible! This is like “Jaws!” Eventually, Takase slid out from the greasy underside of Manny, and in an ending eerily similiar to his UFC 3 fight, Takase went to town with clubbing hands to his exhausted opponent’s face, leading to a tapout in the middle of the second round.
Full results from today’s New Year’s Eve event in Saitama, Japan, are after the jump, along with a few must-see videos courtesy of ZP420MMA. Note: Bob Sapp apparently backed out of his IGF slap-fight-rules bout with Shinichi Suzukawa at the last minute.
(Forget money and fame – Phil was fighting back when the prize was a weird trophy and a semi-attractive Japanese chick. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
When we learned that the match between UFC veteran Phil Baroni and 23-year-old prospect Brad Tavares would indeed be aired before the UFC 125 pay-per-view broadcast this Saturday, it reminded me of our last chat with the New York Bad Ass on episode 11.1 of the Bum Rush Radio Show. Baroni has reached that point in his career where youngsters are trying to make their names off of him, and he has to beat them if he wants his own name to retain its value. I asked Phil if he felt like the last in a bygone generation of fighters, considering that so many of his rivals are no longer competing. And I thought his response was worth sharing again…
Usually when a fighter or his management put out a highlight reel or a mini-documentary that they have the final say in producing, the final product is equal parts bias, hype and bullshit. There are exceptions of course, but nine times out of ten the best videos come from passionate fans who have no vested interest in the fighter, besides being entertained by them.
The Minowaman video above is no exception.
If you aren’t familiar with the story of "The Giant Killer," Ikuhisa Minowa is a Japanese fighter who began his career with a dismal record of one win in his first ten fights before turning things around and becoming one of Asia’s biggest MMA stars.
(We should all be that fired up, at least once in our lives. Props: UFC.com)
When BJ Penn knocked out Matt Hughes at UFC 123, one of the greatest rivalries in MMA history finally got its conclusion. And while not every two-fight series needs an immediate tie-breaker — the Internet has already informed Dana White what we think of Lesnar vs. Mir III — there’s something incredibly dramatic and satisfying about a good rubber-match. Off the top of our heads, here’s a few others we’d like to see…
Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Tim Kennedy
History: Kennedy def. Miller via decision @ Extreme Challenge 50 (2/23/03), Miller def. Kennedy via decision @ HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon (12/15/07) Why it needs to happen again: Look, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for Jason Miller to agree to a catchweight fight with Nick Diaz under 185 pounds. Mayhem hasn’t even fought for Strikeforce since he squashed Tim Stout in April, and Kennedy is still without an opponent himself after dropping a decision to Jacare Souza in August — and he’s already mentioned that he wants another go-round with Mayhem. Strikeforce has two talented, unattached middleweights at their disposal with a storyline already in place. It doesn’t take rocket appliances to figure this out, guys.
During his long and storied career, Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa has made his reputation off fighting much larger opponents. The reigning Super Hulk champ‘s list of victims includes Eric "Butterbean" Esch (400+ pounds), Giant Silva (385 pounds), Bob Sapp (340 pounds), Imani Lee (330 pounds), Hong Man Choi (320 pounds) and Jimmy Ambriz (285 pounds). On October 24th at Deep 50 Impact, Minowa was able to add another pudgy pelt to his collection — Chang Hee Kim, a South Korean 300-pounder who came into the fight with an 0-1 record. Would Minowa be able to overcome his opponent’s tremendous size and utter lack of skill, as he has so many times in the past?
Short answer: Yep. Kim shows a hint of capability in the beginning, defending a takedown attempt and sneaking in a knee from clinch. But once Minowa flips that big body over — very impressively, we might add — it’s pretty much a wrap. Minowa goes from mount, to side-control, to a slick little armbar-variation that he sets up with a kind of leg-crucifix. Proving once again, Minowaman ain’t gonna lose to no guy with titties.
(A motivated Sakuraba is a dangerous Sakuraba. That doesn’t apply here, obviously, but I’m just saying. Check out more DREAM.14 weigh-in photos at dreamofficial.com.)
We haven’t given this event much play because, let’s face it, none of these fights really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Nick Diaz is probably going to chew up Hayato Sakurai, who has been stopped in his last two outings. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Ralek Gracie is a sideshow, even if it’s one with a historic hook. (Minowaman vs. random fat-guy Imani Lee is just a sideshow, period.) Kid Yamamoto is facing a middling prospect, while Joachim Hansen — who’s riding his own two-fight losing streak — will look for his first win at featherweight. The only real questions are: 1) How good will Diaz look? and 2) Will Saku add another beating to his highlight reel? Still, if you happen to have HDNet and DVR service (or insomnia), it’s better than nothing. Weigh-in results are below. Come back tomorrow for complete results and selected fight videos.
8. WW: Nick Diaz 76.0kg vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai 76.5kg 7. 88kg Catchweight: Kazushi Sakuraba 86.5kg vs. Ralek Gracie 87.4kg 6. FW: Hiroyuki Takaya 65.0kg vs. Joachim Hansen 65.0kg 5. FW: Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto 59.8kg vs. Federico "Kiko" Lopez 62.0 kg* (Lopez came in way over the fight’s 60kg limit; he will be given time to lose the weight this afternoon.) 4. FW: Hideo Tokoro 63.0kg vs. Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura 62.8kg 3. FW: Kazuyuki Miyata 64.2kg vs. Takafumi Otsuka 64.4kg 2. FW: Yoshiro Maeda 60.7kg vs. Kenji Osawa 61.0kg 1. Openweight: Minowaman 88kg vs. Imani Lee 150kg
After the jump: Diaz explains why he’s the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
- Masato def. Andy Souwer via unanimous decision (K-1 MAX bout)
- Hidehiko Yoshida def. Satoshi Ishii via unanimous decision – Gegard Mousasi def. Gary Goodridge via TKO, round 1 DREAM vs. SRC – Shinya Aoki def. Mizuto Hirota via injury stoppage (Aoki’s armlock snaps Hirota’s arm), round 1 (Channeling Nick Diaz and BJ Penn, Aoki followed up the gruesome submission by flipping Hirota the Tokyo Heybuddy, then telling the crowd to visit ShinyaAoki.com, which doesn’t even exist.What an asshole!) – Alistair Overeem def. Kazuyuki Fujita via KO (knee), round 1 – Masanori Kanehara def. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto via unanimous decision – Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kazunori Yokota via unanimous decision – Hideo Tokoro def. Jong Man Kim via unanimous decision – Melvin Manhoef def. Kazuo Misaki via TKO, round 1 (this fight, along with Minowa/Sokoudjou were arguably early stoppages) – Akihiro Gono def. Hayato Sakurai via submission (armbar), round 2 – Michihiro Omigawa def. Hiroyuki Takaya via TKO, round 1 – Hiroshi Izumi def. Katsuyori Shibata via unanimous decision Final score: DREAM (5), Sengoku (4)
– Ray Sefo def. Yosuke Nishijima via unanimous decision (K-1 bout)
DREAM Super Hulk Final – Ikuhisa Minowa def. Rameau Sokoudjou via TKO, round 3
(Gegard Mousasi tells reporters that training for the Gary Goodridge fight was "not good," and it was difficult to stay motivated. That’s the spirit. Video courtesy of YouTube.com/DREAM.)
We’re about 12 hours away from Fields Dynamite!! 2009 (3 a.m. ET, HDNet), which means it’s time to take whatever disposable income you have left after the holiday season and throw it all away on ill-informed sports betting. Check out the official fight lineup below courtesy of MMA Junkie, and the odds courtesy of Bodog, which seems to be the only major online bookmaker taking wagers on this mess. You ready to see some squash matches?
– Masato (-175) vs. Andy Souwer (+145) (K-1) – Gegard Mousasi vs. Gary Goodridge — odds not listed on Bodog, likely due to the lateness of the booking, though the line is reportedly -1100/+600. – Shinya Aoki (-500) vs. Mizuto Hirota (+300) – Alistair Overeem (-1100) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (+600) – Satoshi Ishii (-325) vs. Hidehiko Yoshida (+250) – Norofumi "Kid" Yamamoto (-550) vs. Masanori Kanehara (+350) – Tatsuya Kawajiri (-525) vs. Kazunori Yokota (+325) – Hideo Tokoro (-215) vs. Jong Man Kim (+175) – Kazuo Misaki (-180) vs. Melvin Manhoef (+150) – Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (-205) vs. Akihiro Gono (+165) – Hiroyuki Takaya (-135) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (+105) – Katsuyori Shibata (-135) vs. Hiroshi Izumi (+105) – Hiroya/Noiri winner vs. Ishida/Shimada winner (K-1 KOSHIEN final) – Ray Sefo (-600) vs. Yosuke Nishijima (+400) (K-1) – Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (-325) vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (+250) – Katsuki Ishida vs. Shota Shimada (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal) – Hiroya vs. Masaaki Noiri (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal) – Tsukasa Fuji vs. Ryuya Kusakabe (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal reserve)
Ah, the freak show. Where honest competition meets the insatiable human desire to see something weird, typically in Japan. In light of the events at this week’s Dream "Super Hulk" tournament, we thought we’d take a look back and count down the ten craziest, most outlandish freak show fights in MMA history. Some are bizarre enough to be fun. Some are just horrible. At least one is actually kind of good. All are totally insane. Enjoy.
Zuluzinho (real name Wagner da Conceição Martins, which explains why he goes by Zuluzinho) got his shot at Fedor for two reasons: 1) he is the son of the now legendary Zulu, the Brazilian beast of a man who should be familiar to anyone who has seen “Choke,” and 2) because at 6’7” and nearly 400 pounds, he’s a big, scary-looking fat dude. What he isn’t is quality competition for Fedor, and that’s why he got the fight on December 31. Everyone knows Fedor loves to beat a freak’s ass to ring in the New Year, the bigger and freakier the better.
Just in case there was any doubt that this was an almost criminal mismatch, Zuluzinho erased it by going down with the second punch thrown in the fight. We like to think that as he was falling time slowed down like in the movies and Zuluzinho allowed himself to wonder just for a moment, ‘Is there a chance that the Pride matchmakers haven’t been taking me seriously?’
No word yet if Aoki and Sakurai will have to face each other in the first round of the grand prix, but the two fighters previously met at a Shooto event in August 2005, where the far-more-experienced (at the time) Sakurai defeated Aoki by unanimous decision. Aoki went on to win Shooto’s middleweight (168 pounds) championship the next year — which he still technically holds — before dropping to lightweight in 2007. Both men have won their last two fights, with Sakurai winning a decision against Kuniyoshi Hironaka at DREAM 6 last September and scoring a TKO over Katsuyori Shibata at Dynamite!! 2008 on New Year’s Eve, and Aoki earning quick submission victories over Todd Moore and Eddie Alvarez at the same events.
— Fightline.com reports that Jared Shaw has confirmed Kimbo Slice and Brett Rogers will fight in October. The fight will “more than likely” take place on CBS. A Nick Diaz/KJ Noons match is being discussed as a co-main event for the same card.
— A “Japan and South Korea friendship event” called Kakutougi Taikai GLADIATOR has been scheduled for August 16th in Okayama, Japan, featuring a headlining bout between crusty American legend Don Frye and Japanese middleweight Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa, aka “Minowaman.” Minowa is no stranger to freak show bouts, as he already holds wins over Paulo Cesar Silva, Eric “Butterbean” Esch, Bum Chan Kang, and Phil Baroni.
While us Westerners were hitting the snooze button over and over again this morning, DREAM‘s second event was going down in Japan’s Saitama Super Arena. In a night full of surprises, the biggest one was how easily Shinya Aoki handled Gesias Calvancante. The “Master of Jumping Locks” played it true to his nickname, spending a large chunk of the first round hanging off of Calvancante’s back and working for a choke, and nailing a flying guard-pull in the second round. JZ landed shots where he could, but Aoki’s ground control and multiple submission attempts convinced the judges to give him the match unanimously. With the win, Aoki advances to the second round of DREAM’s lightweight tournament, which goes down May 11th. Now that he’s made it through Calvancante, he’s a strong favorite to go all the way.
The rest of DREAM.2 was devoted to the first round of their middleweight grand prix. Kazushi Sakuraba’s match with Kyokushin karate practitioner Andrews Nakahara (0-0 in MMA competition before the fight) was as lopsided as expected, with Sak schooling Nakahara on the ground en route to a neck crank submission. But there were two major upsets on the card, as crowd favorites Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa and Denis Kang were eliminated from the GP. Minowa put in a lethargic performance against Taiei Kin — who owned a 2-2 record coming into the tournament — and was mostly unsuccessful in his repeated takedown attempts, absorbing a ton of leg kicks and knees to the head in the process. During the times when Minowa did have Kin on the ground, he failed to inflict any damage, and was eventually handed a loss by the judges.
Denis Kang’s submission loss to Gegard Mousasi was just as disappointing. After an energetic striking exchange to open the match, Kang took Mousasi to the ground and worked for a kimura while dodging Mousasi’s rabbit-punches and knees to the head on the ground (both of which seemed to be quite legal at this event, for some reason). But Kang was eventually kicked off, and when he went in to throw a punch at the downed Mousasi he literally fell into a triangle choke; it was the kind of a loss that only an amateur would experience, and it would be hard to argue for Kang as a top-ten middleweight at this point.
Full results are after the jump. Come back later for videos from the event, and if you get HDNet, set your DVRs now: DREAM.2 will be broadcast this Saturday, May 3rd, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
We caught a glimpse of him in today’s highlight reel, and some of you (justifiably) felt that he should have been included on this list — we’re speaking of course about Paulo César da Silva, a.k.a. Giant Silva, the 7’2″ mixed martial artist and pro wrestler who compiled a 2-6 record in PRIDE and K-1. In April 2006, he faced Ikuhisa Minowa at PRIDE Bushido; despite having a 17-inch height disadvantage, Minowa brilliantly somersaulted into a takedown and, unbelievably, controlled Silva on the ground until he could end the fight with knees to Silva’s body and head. When it comes to sad freak shows, this was one of the best…
Another classic Rampage jam from PRIDE, this one against Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa at Shockwave 2003 (12/31/03). I’d argue that Quinton Jackson officially became a star when he brushed away the hand of the referee who was checking his junk at the beginning. (The man certainly does not play that shit!) It’s an exciting fight from start to finish, featuring no less than three body-slams from Jackson, repeated knees to the head, and a sort-of-early stoppage that compels Minowa to get up in Jackson’s face then immediately think better of it.