(12/31/2007)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (16 Total):
1. Mitsuhiro Ishida - 93.5
2. Kazuo Misaki - 93.2
3. Shinya Aoki - 92.7
4. Fedor Emelianenko - 92.4
5. Gilbert Melendez - 92.2
6. Mike Russow - 91.8
7. Makoto Takimoto - 91.4
8. Tatsuya Kawajiri - 91.2
9. Hayato Sakurai - 90.8
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama - 90.8
PRIDE Yarennoka: New Year's Eve 2007
Location: Saitama, Japan
Elevation: 52'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Gilbert Melendez
92.7
Fighters & Matches 89.6
Top 10 Fighters 92.0
TOTAL 90.8
88.1
Submission
(North-South Choke)
2:58
     This fight started with Russow scooping up Zentsov with a single leg, and taking him to the ground. Russow passed the guard, landing in side control, after punching Zentsov in the head a few times. Russow grabbed a North-South Choke, and slowly started turning his body away, cranking on the choke, but Zentsov slipped out. Russow pressed Zentsov toward the center of the ring, threw a few knees to the body, and then went for that same choke again. This time he locked it on, really clamped down, and Zentsov was forced to tap. Nice win for Mike Russow.
88.1
Decision
15:00
      Kawajiri took Azeredo down early in the first round, and then beat him up with short punches for almost the entire 10 minute round. Azeredo tried to make his guard look busy, but Kawajiri clearly dominated him that round with his wrestling and ground & pound. The referee stood them back up with 3 minutes left in the round, but Kawajiri just took him down again, and continued from where he left off. The second round had Kawajiri taking Azeredo down, and pounding on him for another 5 minutes. This fight clearly goes to Tatsuya Kawajiri via unanimous decision.
90.2
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      Takimoto came out swinging like a madman, Bustamante sort of tried to take him down, they clinched by the ropes, Bustamante grabbed the ropes, and the referee gave him a yellow card. They both threw some wild punches before clinching again, and this time, Takimoto took Bustamante to the ground. Bustamante then went for an armbar, and used that to sweep Takimoto, but Takimoto ended up back on top, beating up Bustamante. Bustamante eventually went for another armbar, and again, ended up on top of Takimoto, this time in full mount. He grabbed his back, and they continued to wrestle around. Bustamante got back on top, and landed some solid punches. Bustamante eventually went for a kneebar, and then gave that up, to continue beating up Takimoto from top position. The stood back up, threw some wild punches, and Bustamante took Takimoto down again. It was a competitive round, but I'd probably have to score that one slightly in favor of Bustamante.
     Bustamante continued to beat up Takimoto in the second round, until Takimoto clipped him, Bustamante fell to the ground, Takimoto pounced on him, and beat the shit out of him with knees to the body, and punches to the head. He moved into the mounted crucifix, and continued to destroy Bustamante with short punches. Bustumante tried to throw on a last minute armbar with 30 seconds left in the fight, but yeah, not enough to make up for the ass beating Takimoto handed him in that final round. The fight could have maybe gone either way, but I scored it slightly in favor of Takimoto. I think "split" is a good way to decide this one though. Congrats to Takimoto to winning the fight on two of the scorecards.

92.7
Decision
15:00
      OH SHIT!!! This was one hell of a fight. I have Melendez ranked as one of the top lightweights in the world, and I had Ishida ranked right up there with him, until he got destroyed by Takanori Gomi a year ago. With that being said, Ishida pretty much dominated Melendez in this fight with his wrestling, but Melendez did a great job holding his own as well. At one point in the first round, Ishida was on the back of Melendez, looking for a choke, and Melendez reached behind his head, grabbed Ishida by the throat, and SLAMMED him, head first, straight into the canvas, I thought he was going to kill Ishida by spiking him like that, and he was clearly rocked for a few, but Ishida was still somehow able to get up and shoot for a takedown, but Melendez went for a guillotine, and Ishida was able to work out of that. The rest of the fight was filled with more wild grappling exchanges like this. Fucking awesome fight overall, and Ishida is an extreme badass, for handing Gilbert Melendez his first professional loss, and doing it in dominating fashion.
89.8
No Contest
(KO by Illegal Soccer Kick)
7:48
      There were a lot of wild movements in this fight, mostly just for show, and a few decent strikes, but for the amount of energy these guys had, especially Misaki, there wasn't much damage being dealt in the first couple of minutes. Misaki was clearly winning the round though, landing a ton of leg kicks. Akiyama eventually ROCKED Misaki with some BRUTAL punches, knocking him on his ass, and totally changing the direction of the fight. Misaki stood back up, and it was clear that this fight was officially getting started about 7 minutes into the first round. Misaki blasted Akiyama with some punches, knocked him to the ground, finished him off with a soccer kick to the face, and Misaki wins!!! Wait no, it was illegal, so... No contest? Boooooo... As far as I'm concerned, this shit is Pride, and that kick should have been legal, and therefore, I'm going to give the victory points to Misaki for that one. Nice win for Misaki, and shitty end, considering that it officially goes down as a No Contest.
90.2
Submission
(Armbar)
1:54
      Yikes... Fedor ran in, clinched with Choi, and then Choi just kind of collapsed on top of him, ending up in Fedor's half guard. Fedor went for an armbar, and Choi sort of swung Fedor around with his big ass arm, as Fedor was holding onto it like a small insect. Fedor ran in again, absorbed some punches to the face, and then Choi fell on top of Fedor again, this time landing in Fedor's full guard. Fedor went for one more armbar, and this time it was tight, and Choi was forced to submit. Pretty amusing win for Fedor.
87.6
Decision
15:00
      I consider Hayato Sakurai the #5 welterweight in the world. Hasegawa isn't even on my radar, since I don't watch "Deep" or "Pancrase". With that being said, Sakurai pretty much beat up Hasegawa for 15 minutes, both on the feet, and on the ground. Hasegawa came out clearly looking to leave it all in the ring during the second round, but Sakurai just took him down repeatedly, and beat him up. I didn't really see many opportunities for Hasegawa to win this one, and I certainly didn't think he came anywhere close to earning a decision, so congrats to Sakurai for taking out a guy I've never heard of, via unanimous decision.
89.8
Decision
15:00
      Similar to the fight right before this one tonight, I have Shinya Aoki ranked as the #5 Lightweight in the world, and I've never heard of Bu Kyung Jung, who is making his professional debut here. Aoki took Jung to the ground in the first 30 seconds, and Jung slapped on a TIGHT armbar. I'm honestly kind of shocked that Jung didn't break Aoki's arm with that, that shit looked dangerous. Aoki somehow slammed his way out of it though, and then moved into a leg lock battle. He locked on an achilles lock, that looked like it was going to rip Jung's foot off, but he finally gave it up, repositioned, and then kind of tried to mount Jung in the corner, dropping some big punches on his face. The fight was reset in the center, and Aoki unloaded on Jung's face with big hammerfists, before Jung slapped on another armbar attempt. Aoki went for a few more leg locks before the round ended. Nice competitive opening round, but I'm scoring that one for Aoki.
      The third round had Aoki taking Jung to the ground again, he mounted him this time, flattened him out, and beat him up for a few minutes. Aoki postured up halfway through the round and tried to finish off Jung with some really heavy punches, but for some reason the referee refused to stop the fight, even though Jung wasn't really even defending himself at all. He was just curled up in a ball, getting mauled. Another really solid performance by Shinya Aoki, against a guy I've never heard of, earning the unanimous decision victory.
OVERALL 90.8
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