Some comments about Rings 10/9.

Yoyogi was real sellout.
It was officially announced as 4600,
but it looked more.
The seats were full
and standing people made a circle outside of the seat rows
in the rounded building.
I don' t understand why this happened.
It was national holiday but I don't think it was the only reason.
New Japan Tokyo Dome did not affect at all.
Because no one had expected the sellout,
some people couldn't get tickets and went home.
Among my acquaintances, I know three people who went home,
so I can assume many more people couldn't enter the building.
There is basically three ways to get a ticket in Japan.
1)buy in advance through ticket seller like Ticket Master in US
2)buy at the gate of the event at that day
3)buy from unofficial/illegal dealer at that day
No one had imagined the sellout,
people were willing to buy ticket in the way of 2 or 3.
2 was officially sold out.
3 was dried up and dealers wanted to buy tickets to sell.

Some people cheered Yanagisawa as former Pancrasist,
and a few did so even as a K1 fighter.
And a few looked very glad when Tamura lost against Nogueira.
KOK might have been recognized as a general, neutral MMA event,
more than Rings event.
Then, some of the attendance could have been shoot-fanatics
and they naturally hate the worker Tamura.
They don't accept the fact that he is the main draw, easily biggest draw.
It may be like mini-Pride.
A part of the fans may be UWF refugees.
They attend good, big events only,
and are not the proper Rings or a particular organization fans.

The first two matches are not exciting.
Traven looked not understanding what is professional.
He has never shown his Jiu-jitsu technic in Rings.
Cheap boxing between jiu-jitsu fighter and sambist.

Sakata looked not-well conditioned.

The third match made a heat.
The great(at least on paper) Sambist Balachinsky and Overeem
exchanged many punches.
Overeem was far better in their feet
but Balachinsky couldn't take down Overeem.
There is no other way to fight except striking.
In the MMA, which is a sport which requires complete technic,
ironically, incomplete fighters are interesting,
or making fights interesting.

I believe that Tariel, who appeared since December,
didn't train for MMA in the past 10 months.
Still 150kg over fat and not getting accustomed to glove/punch.
I predicted to my friend sitting on the next to me,
"less than 3 minutes"
But Tariel showed exciting resistance.
He swept Babalu just by pushing him up by his both hands!
I bet Babalu had never experienced such a power.
But the result was still "less than 3 minutes"
Again, incomplete fighter made the crowd pop.

Horn vs Couture was possibly the best match
>from the technical point of view.
I was surprised Horn tried jumping arm bar
as I had heard at a Tamura's talk show
Tamura told that he was willing to do so against Henderson.
They thought same thing against great wrestlers who they can not take down.
This was the first time to see Horn got damaged.
In this level, Horn may not be able to fight every week.
For those who know Couture in his UFC days,
this was a great match up in the world class
but for most of Rings fans,
Couture is just a loser of only one Rings fight against Illukhine Mikhail.
He should have built well as he may win the whole tourney.
Olympic wrestling rule was changed as 2 rounds,
I heard it requires better cardio.
Couture showed monstrous stamina.

Yanagisawa had almost no chance to strike
and Jeliazkov is far superior wrestler.
Most part of the fight was on the ground.
Yanagisawa submitted Boris' ankle.
I think Boris didn't know the submission as he didn't try to defense.
Again, incomplete fighter made a match.
Some said this and his Couture match were best matches Yanagisawa's whole
Pancrase guys are mostly complete, having no big hole in their skills.
That makes fights less exciting.
For example,
Ricardo Arona is one of the perfect, most complete MMA fighter with no
but if Arona vs Arona was realized,
there will be no punch hits, no tackle succeeds, no submission finishes.
It must be boring decision match.

Nogueira easily beat Lavazanov as expected.
Nothing special.
In the 99 October, Nogueira's first appearance to Japan,
that was incredible.
But no surprise this time.

Tamura fought safely.
Closed guard against Zaza?
When the card announced in the beginning of the show,
the card Tamura vs Zaza was most reacted by crowd
despite of very common card.

It was unbelievable that Traven couldn't take down Menne.
Traven had 19kg advantage.
Menne is better striker.
I felt as if I could see Menne's mind was changed.
Menne must have felt before the match
that this was stupid match up with 19kg weight difference.
But in the fight, he must have realized that he can fight fairy.
Borisov Mikhail, Balachinsky, Traven,
they all lost by the lack of wrestling/take down ability.

Babalu vs Overeem was most heated match.
Overeem is very different when he is good and when bad.
Today is his best day.

Yanagisawa vs Couture was also a good match.
Actually Yanagisawa had no chance but looked good match
as Couture's style is not finishing style,
they kept moving with no stop.

Nogueira vs Tamura was a shoot version of Tamura vs Volk Han.
Pure submission match.
Tamura endured Nogueira's continuous submission attack.
Beside Tamura, not many can endure this attack for 8 minutes.
It seemed Nogueira finally noticed that positioning is not so important.
He, cornered by Mario Sperry, tried keep applying submission
without resting in good position.
With this strategy, even without really submitting the opponent,
Nogueira can get aggressive point win the decision.
Clever, big, serious athlete. Great.
More importantly, he became more entertaining with this strategy.
A secret criterion of KOK judgement must be entertaining or not.

Menne got a slot in the final despite of the fact that
he lost the 1st round of the Rings USA.
Overeem got a slot despite of the fact that
he was KO'ed by Tom Sauer in the Rings USA.
On the other hand,
Babalu, Tamura, Horn can't go final.
What a gorgeous tourney!
but I think they should have re-think the bracketing.

It was a great show.
12 matches may be too many for one show.
4 hours may be too long for one show.
Exciting matches makes us tired and burnt out
before the main event.
As for today, 8 matches were enough.
The three out of the last four were also good match,
crowd went over satisfaction.
Roberto Traven was the obvious worst fighter
but, as for today, without him,
the show would have been too thick, too dense.
I have attended all Rings event since October 1999,
this could be the second best, if not the best.

I feel sorry but the next day's newspaper were occupied
with K1 and New Japan news.
Bad luck.

By the way, I have heard Mr.Goldman can not trust Rings
about shoot/work matter.
I personaly hope to see Rings' worked event some day again
but they have had no worked matches since Oct 1999.
They have a concept, vision, ideology or whatsoever.
Pride did works, eg. Satake vs Murakami,
and will do in the future to keep their events in this huge scale.
They will never use 2-3000 seat venue for the business scale,
and to keep the scale they always need star/s.
And the existance of a star is clearly more
important than the state of all shoot.
Let's see what they will do to get/build a new star.
Let's see what they will do when Sakuraba can not win everytime.
I hope Mr.Goldman is not misunderstanding
the whole picture of the MMA world.
Speaking of myself, I got 400 MMA tapes
and am checking magazines and internet.
Then I am pretty confident that
Pride is the one you can not trust for work matter.
They will do whatever if it is correct business-wise.
The last UFC got less than 1000 crowd.
Pancrase got 1000 for Kourakuen Hall 2000 seat venue in July,
got 350 for 800 seat venue in August.
Rings is slightly better than them,
well-balanced between business and the heart of sports
>From another point of view,
Pride, UFC, IVC, WVC, Shooto, Pancrase,
they all have different rules but the difference is minor.
Rings/KOK rule is very different from them
and naturally it has different possibility to develop.
This is not the matter of good/bad or like/dislike rules,
the diversity is important for the future.
I want to insist strongly that Rings is the one you have to watch.

This was not written for eYada show,
which I can not listen(for computa reason).
You don't need to read this in the show, Mr.Goldman.

Tokyo Japan