THE PRIDE CHALLENGE 2
04/13/2004

PRIDE Challenge is based on the concept of raising and discovering future PRIDE warriors. Although there were 14 fights in the first PRIDE Challenge, PRIDE Challenge 2 had nearly 40 fights. The even has obviously gained a lot of attention. There were many submissions and KOs and all of the fighters displayed aggressiveness.

Takehiro Nagata (Crosspoint), PRIDE Challenge 2 MVP winner, and Christiano Kaminishi (Axis Jiu-Jitsu Academy) gathered the most attention of all the fighters.

Nagata stood unafraid of the huge support crowd that Texeira Ivan (Axis Jiu-Jitsu Academy) brought along. Nagata took Ivan down beautifully, quickly gained position and finished with an arm-bar.

Additionally, Christiano, in the last fight of the day, demonstrated his heavyweight power. Christiano put pressure on his opponent, Alan Ballard (Free), known for his striking; with a low kick that would fool you into thinking his backbone wasn't jiu-jitsu. After he got the takedown, Christiano followed up with consecutive body punches and finished the match with a rear-naked choke. Christiano was a little nervous this time because his opponent was a striker but he was still able to show his high level of skill as a mixed martial artist.

PRIDE Challenge Producer and PRIDE General Rule Director, Yuji Shimada, said that although there are still gaps in ability among the fighters, the overall level of the event had risen.

There were some unfortunate incidents as well. Some fighters continued to attack even after the referee stopped the match. This event is only a step to professional fights and is still an amateur event. The purpose of the event is not only to show a fighter's strengths. It's also important for a fighter to how he had forged his skill and spirit as a sportsman. In future events, we hope that participating amateur fighters will bear this in mind.

Awards

MVP: Takehiro Nagata (Crosspoint Kichijoji)

Kakutogitsushin Award: Christiano Kaminishi (Axis Jiu-Jitsu Academy)

Director's Award: Takashi Nakamura (Matsumoto Gym Tate No Kai)

Gold's Gym Award: Alan Ballard, Mitsuru Kohara (WJK HQ), Kenta Maeda

Gift certificate from restaurant-bar [We]: Takahisa Oda (Sendai Turtles), Takuya Shimizu (WJK Gunma)

Samurai TV Award: Sanko Ikezawa

Sports-I Award: Keishun Nakayama (BCG)

Body Maker Award: Keiji Sakuda

DSE Award: Manabu Inoue (U.W.F Snake Pit Japan)