Mark Hunt wearing the Nate Diaz Represent Ltd. line of shirts
from @markhuntfighter instagram
BUY at REPRESENT LTD.: $24.99
Two of the greatest fighters to have ever entered the ring. Mark Hunt and Nate Diaz. Awesome to see Mark Hunt rocking the Nate Diaz Represent Ltd. line of shirts. The Super Samoan showing support all the way from New Zealand for his fellow accomplished lightweight brother from the 209.
Takanori Gomi vs Tatsuya Kawajiri, Pride Bushido 9, September 2005
The lightweight division has always been an exciting weight class to watch. It is one of the most competitive divisions with a never ending talent pool to draw from. The fighters possess the right combination of speed, agility, and power – the perfect recipe for action packed, exciting, and technical fights.
However, before there were the lightweight champions that are so celebrated today. Before Rafael Dos Anjos, the newly crowned UFC Lightweight Champion. Before Anthony Pettis, before Benson Henderson, before Frankie Edgar, and even before the great BJ Penn. In the land of Pride, there was Takanori Gomi and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Takanori Gomi vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg, UFC 172, April 2014
When you hear the name Takanori Gomi, you instantly hear waves and waves of fans shouting his name, chanting “Gomi, Gomi, Gomi”. Children carried his action figure, fans collected his fan cards and memorabilia. During the early 2000s, the Fireball Kid set Japan on fire with his accomplishments in Shooto and Pride.
In Shooto, Takanori Gomi had the longest consecutive win streak (12). In 2001 he defeated the lightweight submission master Rumina Sato for the Shooto Lightweight Championship. This was Takanori Gomi’s first leap into popularity as Rumina Sato dominated the Shooto scene in the late 90s. This is the Rumina Sato that defeated Rafael Cordiero and lost to Andre Pederneiras. Brazilian names that may sound familiar as they are now renowned trainers.
In Pride, Takanori Gomi had the fastest knockout, the highest win streak (10), the most successful consecutive title defenses, was the Pride Lightweight Champion, and won the 2005 Pride Lightweight Grand Prix.
Takanori Gomi is one of the best lightweight fighters in Japanese MMA history. This entry takes a look at his fight of the night winning bout against MMA veteran Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson I &II, November 2011, March 2014
Fight of the Night
The anticipation was torturous, the excitement was palpable, the action was legendary. In Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson I and II, MMA reached a new level of high. A high that is seldom achieved, but when you hit it, oh man, it’s awesome.
The fights are both scheduled for five rounds with Shogun Rua vs Dan Henderson I achieving Fight of the Night and 2011 Fight of the Year. The second fight also won Fight of the Night honours.
Do not blink, do not move, do not alt+tab away. Watch these fights, it’s good for you.
The Next Faces of Japan MMA, a documentary
In the late 90s and early 00s, Japan MMA was at its peak. With top promotions in Pride, Dream, Rings, VTJ, and Shooto, Japan was able to attract the very best MMA fighters around the world. These promotions built their events and consequently Japan MMA around star fighters. Star fighters who are MMA legends today.
MMA is an unforgiving sport that favours the young. As with everything, fighters get old. Old injuries, a closing career window, and the thought of having to prepare for a life after fighting forces fighters to seek higher paying fights or different career paths. One by one, these star fighters started to retire or move to the US for bigger purses. Japan MMA fell by the way-side and has been lying dormant for the better part of the last decade.
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.
Fedor vs Nogueira II, Pride Final Conflict 2004, 15 August 2004
Fedor vs Nogueira II at Pride Final Conflict 2004 was the highly anticipated rematch between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. It is also the second fight in the Fedor vs Nogueira trilogy.
The first fight happened in March 2003 with Fedor Emelianenko upsetting the reigning Pride Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Fedor at the time was new to the Pride stage and Pride fans knew him only from his win against Heath Herring. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was the dominant champion and had proved himself with wins against Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring and Dan Henderson. The result of the battle was Fedor winning the Pride Heavyweight Championship. This is the rematch between the two greatest Pride Heavyweights of the time.
Fedor vs Nogueira I, Pride 25, 16 March 2003
Fedor vs Nogueira is one of the best trilogy rivalries in Pride and one of the best rivalries in MMA. In three separate posts, we will be bringing these three fights to fight fans around the world.
Fedor vs Nogueira at Pride 25 is the first of an epic trilogy rivalry between two of the best heavyweights in Pride. This match-up was the most highly anticipated fight at the time. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was the current Pride Heavyweight Champion and Fedor Emelianenko was the fast rising MMA superstar. What made this fight amazing was the performance of the underdog rising above the expectations of fight fans and fight critics. Fedor vs Noueira was also a phenomenal match-up in styles. Nogueira, a master of triangles and armbars wanted the fight to go to the ground. However this plan would play directly into Fedor’s dangerous ground and pound. It was almost as if both fighters were competing against each other with the strongest tools they possessed.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Kevin Randleman, Pride Critical Countdown 2004, 20 June 2004
This fight Fedor Emelianenko vs Kevin Randleman is a fight that lasts less than 2:30. This is the fight where Kevin Randleman executes one of the most beauty belly to back suplexes we have ever seen. This suplex could have very well re-organized Fedors spine. Fedor Emelianenko vs Kevin Randleman is required knowledge for hardcore MMA fans around the world.
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva, UFC 79, 29 December 2007
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva represents rich MMA history and has been in the making since before 2003. In 2003, UFC President Dana White had been trying to match Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva for ages in what he declared as the best of UFC versus the best of Pride. That year, Dana White and Chuck Liddell traveled to Japan to challenge the best of the best Pride fighters in the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. In entering Chuck Liddell into the Middleweight Grand Prix, Chuck Liddell would earn the chance to fight Pride Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva. Additionally, Chuck would fight other Pride MMA superstars in the tournament. This would ultimately give Dana White and more importantly, the fight fans an incredible UFC vs Pride tournament. Unfortunately, we never got to see Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva in 2003 as Chuck Liddell did not make it past the semi-finals against Rampage Jackson.