SURVIVAL MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT
02/09/2005

Three new matches have been announced for the upcoming February 20th PRIDE 29 FIST OF FIRE event. One of the three matches will be a heavyweight match, while the other two will be middleweight survival matches for Yokoi and Kanehara.

Hirotaka Yokoi Vs. Mario Sperry

The Japanese monster will square off against the Brazilian Top Team's leader. Yokoi showed us his ability in last year's PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix match before being submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Coming off a loss against Heath Herring in PRIDE 28, Yokoi will start this year off by fighting as a middleweight. His opponent, Mario Sperry, is a veteran MMA fighter. Sperry's groundwork is top-class and he's responsible for incredible ground fighters such as the Nogueira brothers and Ricardo Arona. Both Sakuraba and Yoshida have praised Yokoi's skill on the ground but will it be enough to defeat Sperry?

Hiromitsu Kanehara Vs. Mauricio Rua

Another chance has visited Kanehara, who lost to Alistair Overeem in PRIDE 28, marking his 3rd loss out of three PRIDE appearances. He's prepared for this match in Thailand, practicing muay thai and improving his striking techniques. Shogun, on the other hand, is at the top of his game and has even been called Chute Boxe's most complete mixed martial artist. He explodes a flurry of strikes upon his opponents as he calls upon a seemingly endless supply of stamina. This is a dangerous opponent for the already troubled Kanehara.

Tom Erikson Vs. Fabricio Werdum

The fabled jiu-jitsu master Fabricio Werdum finally makes his PRIDE debut! He has become widely known as Mirko's ground coach but his name has long been known among those involved in the ground game. Werdum is an active jiu-jitsu World Champion and consecutively won the 2003 and 2004 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships (Mundial). His skill isn't limited to grappling, though. In only his 5th MMA fight, Werdum KO'd muay thai fighter Ebenezer Fontes Braga. It's probably not an exaggeration to say that he has the potential to be able to stand up to the top 3 in PRIDE's heavyweight division. His opponent, Tom Erikson, was at one time called the strongest fighter in the world. He's a giant fighter at 193cm and 130kg and Werdum would be wise to give Erikson's abilities the respect they deserve.