Fedor vs Nogueira III, Pride Shockwave 2004, 31 December 2004
Fedor vs Nogueira II ended in a no contest due to an accidental headbutt. Both fans and fighters were hugely disappointed. Fedor vs Nogueira III picks up immediately four months later from where we left off. The 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship is on the line as well as the Pride Heavyweight Championship title. This is the third fight in what is considered one of Pride’s best MMA trilogy rivalries.
Going into this fight Nogueira tried to lose weight in order to be lighter on the feet. He wanted to execute a stick and move strategy in order to defeat Fedor. However Fedor had made adjustments of his own. Since their first meeting in March 2013, Fedor has evolved significantly has a fighter. He not only relies on his Combat Sambo background, but has added submissions to his deadly arsenal.
During the fight, as Nogueira tries to execute his game plan, we see Fedor countering with combinations. Once Fedor gets close enough, he tosses Nogueira to the mat, hoping to set up for the ferocious ground and pound that won him the first battle.
What is incredible to watch about these two fighters, and what has made them legends in MMA is their absolute devotion to the fight. In each kick, in each punch, in each take down, both fighters leverage their entire body weight in order to deliver the most damage.
In this fight, Fedor shows fight fans his deadly right hand. He lands a few of these on Nogueira, leaving viewers and commentators baffled as to how Nogueira is still standing.
Fedor vs Nogueira may have been the highly anticipated heavyweight Pride fight. With Fedor winning this fight, it sets up for another incredible match-up between the rising star Mirko Crocop. Click here for the full fight.
Fedor vs Nogueira III full fight video