SILVA SUSTAINS KNEE-INJURY
05/11/2004

DSE held a press conference on May 6 th regarding the May 23 rd PRIDE Bushido. It was announced that the Silva/Kondo match would unfortunately be delayed due to a knee-injury that Silva sustained. However, the replacement card is an all-star lineup.

 

   

 

The conference began immediately with the DSE President, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announcing that Wanderlei Silva would not fight. During practice when Silva came as a corner-man for the April 25 th PRIDE GP Opening Round, his middle kick was caught by Murilo Ninja and he injured his knee when he fell over while his leg was still being held. At that time there was no pain and he accepted the fight with Kondo but the pain increased after he returned to Brazil and began training. His right knee had been injured and will require 5~6 months to heal. He must be immobile for 3~4 weeks of this time and will undergo surgery.

Silva has already had surgery on his left knee in the past and the damage of his long fighting career built up in his right knee, as well. Silva was also disappointed at his injury, "I'll concentrate fully on getting better, getting my body back in to top-shape and I hope to fight Kondo in July or August. Please wait a little longer.

Kondo, on the other hand, told DSE that he was willing to fight a replacement fighter. However, in consideration of Kondo's and the fans' expectations, DSE felt it wouldn't satisfy anyone to match him up with an alternate and chose to have him wait for Silva.

DSE had more-than-enough of a replacement card to fill the gap. The theme for this Bushido will be Team Japan vs. Team Gracie in a 3-on-3 match-up, as follows:

Ikuhisa Minowa Versus Ryan Gracie
Takanori Gomi Versus Ralph Gracie
Ryo Chonan Versus Ricardo Almeida

Minowa is coming off 2 losses in PRIDE against Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva but Sakakibara still had high hopes for him. "He stood up to the Middleweight Grand Prix Champion and the runner-up. I think he is the fighter most likely to make this Bushido a success." There's little doubt that Minowa will come out fired up, as usual, to face Ryan Gracie.

Coming off a victory over Chute Boxe in the last Bushido, Japan's lightweight ace, Takanori Gomi, will face off against the mad dog known as Ralph Gracie. Gomi holds a KO victory over Mishima, the opponent that Ralph beat by decision in Bushido 1. Both fighters are proud and consider themselves to represent their countries, bringing back memories of the Kazushi Sakuraba/Royler Gracie match.

Chonan, Japan's version of Wanderlei Silva, will get his shot in the PRIDE ring. Chonan broke the orbital bone of "Mach" Sakurai before Sakurai was to appear in Bushido 1. Yokoi and Nakamura have both said that he's dangerous, like a killer, making Chonan one of the most feared Japanese fighters at the moment. The man taking on this killer will be Renzo Gracie's star pupil, the current Middleweight Pancrase Champion, Ricardo Almeida. Almeida has never lost to a Japanese fighter and even submitted Josh Barnett in the open-weight division at Abu Dhabi, taking 3 rd place. Will Chonan be the first Japanese fighter to drive Almeida into the ground or will Almeida put Chonan in his place? This is definitely a fight not to be missed.

In addition to the Team Japan/Team Gracie matchups, there will be other high profile matches. Daijyu Takase will go head-to-head against Carlos Newton in a battle between two of the world's greatest grapplers. Kazuhiro Nakamura will fight Challid Arrab, who beat Rodney Faverus in Bushido 1.

Additionally, Mirko Filipovic will also fight in Bushido 3. Mirko lost by KO in the PRIDE Grand Prix Opening Round but according to Sakakibara, "Mirko wants to get back into action as soon as possible. He started running as soon as he set foot back in Croatia. There's no worry about damage and we want to honor Mirko's deep desire to fight." Mirko has fought in the past two Bushido events against Dos Caras Jr. and Yoshihisa Yamamoto. "His opponent won't be easy, this time", Sakakibara promised. "We don't need to put (Mirko) out there just to show his face. We are in the final negotiations with a really tough opponent. I think everyone will be pleased with our choice."

Following Sentoryu, Tamakairiki, another sumo player, will also appear. His opponent will be someone "that will give him a fair chance", according to DSE.

Team Japan versus Team Gracie. Battle of the grappling masters. Mirko's comeback fight. Although the anticipated Silva/Kondo match won't happen yet, this is still an event that shouldn't be missed.