In two days, die hard MMA fans will once again be able to enjoy one of the sport’s most cherished traditions: the New Year’s Eve card from Japan.
A staple at the late Pride FC, it featured countless classic fights and thrilling moments.
Rizin FF‘s inaugural event is schedule for this Thursday, at the familiar Saitama Super Arena, on the outskirts of Tokyo.
The event will feature huge names like Fedor Emelianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, Kron Gracie, Gabi Garcia, among others.
If we go back exactly 10 years in time, we will find ourselves in the very same arena watching some of the same fighters.
Pride Shockwave 2005, held on Dec. 31, was one of those memorable shows.
Here’s how the main fights played out.
Sakuraba caught Ikuhisa Minowa with a kimura; Fedor needed only 26s to beat Zuluzinho by TKO; Murilo Bustamante lost his belt to Dan Henderson after a split decision defeat; Mark Hunt also needed a split decision to beat Mirko Cro Cop; and Wanderlei Silva kept his belt after also a split decision win over Ricardo Arona.
If this year’s event is half as exciting as Pride Shockwave 2005 was, we are in for a real treat.
Here’s a video of the backstage before Arona vs. Wand.
Here’s a video of the backstage action before and after Fedor vs. Zuluzinho.
Here is a quick photo gallery of the best fights.