Total Number of Pride FC Fights: 588
Total Number of Pride FC Events: 68
With some of the best fights in the history of MMA, Pride Fighting Championships brought something for every MMA fan in its nearly 10-year run as Japan’s and the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Celebrate its 21st birthday with us with a few cold ones as we break down all 68 of its legendary events, from start to finish.
IF YOU’RE NOT FIRST, YOU’RE LAST: The first fight in Pride history took place on Oct. 11, 1997, between Kazunari Murakami and John Dixson at Pride 1. Murakami submitted Dixson by armbar in 94 seconds to start the organization off with a bang. Of the two, only Murakami ever competed again at Pride, returning once at Pride 10 to get knocked out by Masaaki Satake and giving Satake his only career MMA win.
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL: The final fight in Pride history took place on Apr. 8, 2007, between Jeff Monson and Kazuyuki Fujita at Pride 34. Monson tapped Fujita with a rear-naked choke at 6:47 of the first round to close out the promotion. The original main event of this card was rumored to feature a dream matchup between teammates Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua, but Silva was unable to clear medicals.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE: Celebrating a finish rate of over 66%, Pride’s finish rate trumps the Ultimate Fighting Championship (54.9%), Bellator MMA (61.7%) and Strikeforce (63.3%), but ended below World Extreme Cagefighting’s astonishing finish rate of over 70%.
VIOLENT MOOD SWINGS: Four events hold the record for the most finishes at a single event with 9: Pride 10 and 28, and Bushido 9 and 12.
YOU WIN SOME… : The winningest fighter in Pride history held 22 victories over the course of six and a half years: Wanderlei Silva. Three fighters tied for second place with 18 victories – Igor Vovchanchyn, Kazushi Sakuraba and Mirko Filipovic. Trailing them include Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (17) and Fedor Emelianenko (14).
…YOU LOSE SOME: Of all the fighters to compete in Pride over the years, Akira Shoji suffered the most losses with 12. In a four-way tie for second, Daijiro Matsui, Vovchanchyn, Ikuhisa Minowa and Sakuraba each lost 8 times in Pride.
ALL THEY DO IS WIN: With a winning percentage of 100% not counting his no-contest against Rodrigo Nogueira, Emelianenko alone has the highest winning percentage of any fighter to compete at least ten times in the promotion. Other noteworthy fighters with stellar winning percentages with 10+ fights throughout Pride’s history include Mauricio Rua (92.9%), Takanori Gomi (86.7%), Rodrigo Nogueira (81%), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (80%), Wanderlei Silva (78.6%) and Filipovic (75%). Also notably, Paulo Filho went undefeated in his eight Pride appearances.
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD: Wanderlei Silva competed more times inside Pride than any other fighter, fighting 28 times in the Pride ring. Trailing right behind him with 27 bouts include Vovchanchyn and Sakuraba, followed by Filipovic (24), Shoji (23) and Rodrigo Nogueira (21).
ALL OUT OF BUBBLEGUM: With 16 finish victories for both Filipovic and Silva, they lead the promotion for the most finishes in its history. Sakuraba holds 15 of his own, while Rodrigo Nogueira and Vovchanchyn each stopped 12 opponents during their Pride tenures.
CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE, WANDY: Knocking out 15 opponents over the years, Silva holds the most knockout victories in the Pride ring. Only one other fighter had at least ten knockouts in Pride: Filipovic, with 13.
I GET KNOCKED DOWN: Sakuraba was knocked out seven times in Pride, more than any other fighter in company history. In second for the most knockout losses is Minowa with 6, with Shoji at third with 5.
ARMBAR ODYSSEY: Accounting for just under 30% of all submissions, the armbar was the most popular method of submission victory in Pride history.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME: A few submissions performed in Pride have to this day never been seen in any other Zuffa organization, including the double armbar (Alexander Otsuka over Mike Bourke at Pride 11), flying scissor heel hook (Ryo Chonan over Anderson Silva at Pride Shockwave 2004), gogoplata (Shinya Aoki over Joachim Hansen at Pride Shockwave 2006), single-wing choke (Hidehiko Yoshida over David Abbott at Pride Final Conflict 2005) and the affectionately titled strangle choke (Tom Erikson over Matt Skelton at Pride 17). While Nick Diaz also performed a gogoplata against Gomi at Pride 33, he tested positive for cannabis and his win was overturned to a no-contest.
BLITZKRIEG: In only 6 seconds, Gomi demolished Ralph Gracie with knees at Pride Bushido 3 in 2004, scoring the fastest knockout in Pride history. In a five-way tie, the second fastest knockouts each took 11 seconds from the following: Aleksander Emelianenko, Assuerio Silva, Bob Sapp, Luiz Azeredo and Mario Sperry.
FEATURE LENGTH: One of the longest fights in major MMA history, Sakuraba and Royce Gracie competed for 90 full minutes until Gracie’s corner stopped the fight after the sixth round. The bout was held at the Pride FC Grand Prix 2000 Finals under special rules, with unlimited 15-minute rounds partitioning the contest and no judges’ intervention. Also notably, it took Renzo Gracie six rounds -- spanning 50 minutes and 43 seconds -- to finally submit Sanae Kikuta with a guillotine choke at Pride 2.
NO TITLE, NO PROBLEM: Throughout the course of Pride history, only 15 title fights took place. Only heavyweight champ Emelianenko and middleweight champ Silva defended their belts more than once.
SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS: With Dan Henderson ending as the final Pride middleweight champ and the only welterweight champ, both of his titles were unified when he came over to the UFC following Zuffa’s purchase of Pride. His middleweight belt was unified with the UFC’s light heavyweight belt at UFC 75, where he dropped a decision to Quinton Jackson. After that, Henderson’s welterweight belt was unified with the UFC’s middleweight belt at UFC 82, where Henderson was submitted by Anderson Silva.
IF IT AT ALL MATTERS: Lineal belts are silly and nonsensical, but for the trivia-minded, the current lineal Pride middleweight champion is Daniel Cormier and the current lineal Pride welterweight champion is Robert Whittaker, with both acquiring them through vacated titles.
DAVID, MEET GOLIATH: UFC 3 combatant Emmanuel Yarborough stands alone as the heaviest fighter to ever compete inside the Pride ring, weighing in at 600 pounds when he faced off against the relatively tiny 209-pound Daiju Takase at Pride 3. That 391-pound weight difference is among the greatest weight differentials between competing fighters in MMA history. Despite the weight, Takase forced Yarborough to submit to punches in the second round of their bout.
15 STATS OF PRIDE FC:
FIFTEEN Belts on the line
FOURTEEN Victories for Fedor
TWELVE Valiant losing efforts by Mr. Pride
ELEVEN Soccer Kick Knockouts
TEN Glorious Years
NINE-ty Minutes between Sakuraba and Gracie
SEVEN Head Kick knockouts
SIX Second knockout
FIVE Knees torqued by kneebars
FOUR Gracies Hunted
THREE Flying Knockouts
ONE and only Pride FC, Pride Never Die!