CARD ANNOUNCEMENT
01/30/2005

Five matches for the February 20th PRIDE 29 FISTS OF FURY event were announced in the DSE Tokyo office on January 27th. A thrilling lineup of both heavy and middleweights, this card should be a prediction of what to expect from PRIDE in 2005.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic VS Mark "The Hammer" Coleman

Kevin Randleman lost to Mirko in a revenge match in the December 31st PRIDE SHOCKWAVE in front of his mentor, Coleman. Immediately after the match, Mirko announced that he wanted to fight Fedor for the PRIDE Heavyweight Championships belt but since has respect for Coleman, he is willing to fight Coleman before that if Coleman wants to fight. Coleman answered his challenger's call. For Mirko, this is a chance to take out the 1st PRIDE Grand Prix Champion and secure his position as the contender for the Heavyweight title with a victory over both Randleman and Coleman, both who have lost to Fedor. However, only a fool would look past Coleman. He doesn't have Randleman's speed but he's the top tackler in mixed martial arts. So much so that he was able to both take down and gain top position on Fedor, a rare feat. This will undoubtedly be the greatest challenge Mirko has faced on his quest for the Championship.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson VS Murilo "Ninja" Rua

An incredible match, giving us a glimpse into the upcoming Middleweight Grand Prix. Ninja moved to the heavyweight division last year in order to compete in the Heavyweight Grand Prix but now he returns to do battle in his true weight class. Jackson holds the #2 Middleweight spot after his loss to Wanderlei Silva in last year's title match but there's no guarantee that he will keep it. Will Ninja, thought by some fighters to be even stronger than his teammate Wanderlei, upset the Middleweight pecking order? Will Jackson be able to show that he is still Wanderlei Silva's greatest rival?

Alistair Overeem VS Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

This is a big fight that will have a direct influence on the Middleweight Grand Prix. A fight between striker and grappler, the eternal MMA theme. Alistair won all of his matches in the Abu Dhabi Combat Europe Preliminaries by guillotine choke, showing that he can win even without his top-level striking skills. On the other hand, Rogerio, who trains with his brother and former Heavyweight Champion Rodrigo, is said to have remarkably improved his boxing skills. While it's not a pure striker versus grappler scenario, this fight could turn out to be the middleweight Mirko versus the middleweight Nogueira.

Igor Vovchanchyn VS Yoshiki Takahashi

Vovchanchyn makes his Middleweight debut! Vovchanchyn has his eyes on the Middleweight Grand Prix Championships and this sudden change is a reason for other middleweight fighters to be afraid, very afraid. Vovchanchyn was called the world's most dangerous heavyweight fighter in the early days of PRIDE. His Russian Hook, which has sent many heavyweight fighters to the mat, will now come crashing down on the middleweight division. His opponent will be Pancrase's Takahashi. Takahashi, the Pancrase Heavyweight Champion, competed in the PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix last year. However, due to a difference in weight classes between organizations, Takashi's will return to PRIDE as a middleweight, his true weight. This fight between two middleweights with heavyweight power should not be missed!

Sergei Kharitonov VS Choi Mu Bae

Bae, PRIDE's dancing Korean star, will face his toughest challenge ever in Kharitonov. Bae's is a true success story. He started in a BUSHIDO Challenge Match, worked his way to both the BUSHIDO series and the regular PRIDE series, and fought in New Year's Eve's SHOCKWAVE. His opponent this time, however, is far beyond all he has faced before. Kharitonov has been silent since the Heavyweight Grand Prix. During that time he has been undergoing special training with the Russian Special Forces. Choi Mu Bae will find out what he's really made of in the battle between the Russian Commando and the Korean Night Fever.

(Also Scheduled to Fight)
Ryan Gracie
Kazuhiro Nakamura
Hirotaka Yokoi
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua