PRIDE ran their November 9th show at the Tokyo Dome, claiming 67,451 paid for a complete sell-out (at least $7 million dollars for the live gate). Results:
Nobuhiko Takada made the announcement to the crowd that PRIDE would indeed have a 100%-PRIDE only fight show on New Year’s Eve on Fuji TV that would run against K-1’s show on Tokyo Broadcasting System and Antonio Inoki’s show on Nippon TV. Takada said that PRIDE was not going to back down. This squashed the rumors that PRIDE was going to give their Saitama Super Arena building booking away to K-1 for Bob Sapp vs. Akebono. Takada said that although Antonio Inoki was his fighting teacher, Inoki had never been involved in such a high-level of fighting as PRIDE. PRIDE’s farewell from Inoki was officially declared.
The way this was done was amazing. Takada told the crowd before the show that Inoki wasn’t at the building to watch the event and he started asking, "Why did Inoki turn his back on PRIDE?"
1. Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge defeated Dan Bobish in the 1st round by TKO (referee stoppage) in 18 seconds. Bobish was having vision problems and Goodridge nailed a flurry of punches for the win. After the fight, Bobish told the press that he got a thumb in his eye and that he was seeing double vision. Bobish said that he would like to work for both WJ Pro & PRIDE again and that he has two more fights with PRIDE left.
2. Middleweight GP Tournament – Quinton "Rampage" Jackson defeated Chuck Liddell in the 2nd round in 3 minutes, 10 seconds by TKO.The first round saw a lot of action on the part of Jackson and Liddell absorbing and avoiding big punishment. Jackson was able to get Liddell onto the ground in the last stages of the first round and started pounding with lefts and a few knee strikes. The round ended up with both guys standing and Jackson going for another takedown. Liddell was bleeding from the nose at this point. Round 2 was more of the same, as Jackson went for the KO and just nailed Liddell with solid punches and knees. Jackson got Liddell down with a uppercut and started pounding on him again – even in the guard. Punches to the ribs and face. That was enough for the referee stoppage. Completely one-sided at the end.
3. Middleweight GP Tournament – Vanderlei Silva defeated Hidehiko Yoshida after two rounds by a unanimous judges’ decision (3-0). The early momentum went for Yoshida who was able to take down Silva. Yoshida went for a choke and instead Silva tried for a triangle choke in defensive positioning. Yoshida got out of the situation and the referee put them both back in the center of the ring. After Yoshida tried a side-mount on Silva, Silva was able to get Yoshida and Yoshida had to apply the guard (which Silva tried to work out of). Yoshida tried to get submissions on Silva while Silva tried to fight out of the guard. The referee stood both men up in the center and Silva went back to work on Yoshida’s open-guard by landing punches. Yoshida started getting kicked in the leg and he decided to go for a hip-throw and do some ground-n-pound. Both fighters were tired at the end of Round 1. Round 2 started with Silva nailing Yoshida with a knee. Both guys exchanged blows and Yoshida’s mouth was bleeding. Silva started throwing more punches and both guys were dead tired. Silva tried to get Yoshida in a guard but Yoshida reversed it in the last five seconds to end Round 2. A close fight in round 1, but Silva won round 2 and won the fight.
4. Dan Henderson defeated Murillo Bustamante in the 1st round in 53 seconds by KO. Under one minute and Henderson used a knee to stun Bustamante and then finished him off.
5. Heath Herring defeated Yoshihisa Yamamoto in the 3rd round in 2 minutes, 29 seconds with a choke sleeper for the submission.. Herring went for a tackle on Yamamoto and Yamamoto tried to grab the ropes to stop it. Both guys clinched in the corner and exchange punches. Herring connected, but more clinching. Herring is the active fighter, trying low kicks and punches but not connecting much. Yamamoto got Herring on the ground and started pounding away. Herring reversed it and started pounding away. Yamamoto kept trying to get an armbar. Herring tried for a choke on Yamamoto’s throat with his arm but didn’t get it. The finish for Round 1 saw Herring on top of Yamamoto hammering away. Round 2 saw Yamamoto going for the double-leg takedown and get Herring on the ground to go for a full mount and ground-n-pound. Herring got out of the turtle and went on his back. Herring got out of the predictament and started kneeing Yamamoto, who somehow managed to reverse it. Both men were stood up and Herring got Yamamoto in a corner with knees to the thighs for the end of Round 2. For Round 3, Herring drove Yamamoto into a corner and started punching him in the face. Yamamoto received a yellow card for hanging onto the ropes. Herring was able to get Yamamoto into a full mount and started dishing out more punishment. Herring applied a choke to Yamamoto and Yamamoto tapped out. Herring looked bad, Yamamoto looked OK.
6. Kazushi Sakuraba defeated Kevin Randleman by submission in the 3rd round from an armbar. Sakuraba came out dressed as Super Mario (because he called Kevin Randleman "Donkey Kong") instead of what he said he would dress up as, which was RW Hawk. For the start of Round 1, both guys circled each other and Randleman got a takedown. Randleman punched Sakuraba ineffectively and Sakuraba showed good defense — good enough for the referee to stand both of them up. Randleman overpowered Sakuraba to the mat but Sakuraba showed more good defense and attempted many submissions (including a triangle lock). That was the story of Round 1. Round 2 saw Randleman drop Sakuraba, but Sakuraba showed good resiliency. Both guys exchanged strikes, but neither guy was hurt badly at this point. Sakuraba started hitting some low-kicks and went for a high-kick and got caught (and taken down). Round 2 ended with both guys on the ground but negating each other. Round 3 started with Sakuraba kicking Randleman and Randleman forced Sakuraba to the ropes, overpowering him for the slam down to the mat. Sakuraba out of nowhere went for an armbar and Randleman tried to escape. Randleman tried to spin out of it and Sakuraba caught him in another armbar for good for the submission.
7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in Round 2 by submission from an armbar. Round 1 started with Filipovic caught in Nogueira’s closed guard, with Nogueira setting up for a submission. Nogueira and Filipovic exchanged punches in the guard. With three minutes left in the first round, Filipovic looked like he was going for a choke and instead stood up. Mirko went for two high-kicks and Nogueira blocked them (with his hands low, however). Mirko hit a middle-kick and a left punch to the face (which connected and Nogueira started bleeding). Nogueira tried to shoot in and Mirko walked away (not before connecting with another middle-kick). Some fans in the crowd were getting frustrated with the constant defense by both men (Mirko for avoiding takedowns, Nogueira for being on his back). More back-and-forth but Mirko nailed a big middle-kick that wore Nogueira down. The round ended with Mirko nailing Nogueira with more kicks and punches. Round 2 saw Nogueira take down Mirko and get him into a full-mount. Mirko tried to escape but Nogueira wouldn’t let him up. Nogueira started ground-n-pound and got an armbar on Mirko for the submission. Antonio Inoki cannot be happy about this result.
8. Middleweight GP Tournament Finals: Vanderlei Silva defeated Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by TKO in Round 1 by referee stoppage from a flurry of knee strikes (to be specific, the number was 16). Round 1 saw both guys nervously staring at each other. Silva went for a guillotine choke and Jackson rode him in the air. Jackson got caught in Silva’s guard and tried to ground-n-pound his way into success, but didn’t achieve much of it. Silva went for an armbar but Jackson muscled his way out of the situation. Silva started bleeding from his right eye, and the referee decided to stand both of them up from the mat. Jackson received a yellow card from the referee. Silva connected with a flurry of Muay Thai-style big knee strikes and Jackson got beat up badly, to the point that the referee stopped the fight