KEN SHAMROCK ANALYSIS
11/08/2003

PRIDE FC fans, check out Ken Shamrock's preview and analysis for the November 9th FINAL CONFLICT fightcard!

How does "The World's Most Dangerous Man" see the event unfolding? How does he see the tournament? Check it out here!

By Ken Shamrock - Courtesy of Boxinginsider.com
With the Pride Final Conflict show coming up on November 9th, many fans have been asking me what I expect from this pay-per-view. There are a wide range of matches on the card that night, and each one is interesting in its own right. Here are my thoughts about Final Conflict and the experience of fighting in Japan.

Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge vs. Dan "The Bull" Bobish

Both Gary Goodridge and Daniel Bobish are experienced fighters with a lot of power. I expect this match to be very explosive -- a slug-fest, a heavyweight, throw-down, bang-'em-up fight! There won't be much dancing or head-bobbing. It comes down to who hits the hardest, first! Bobish is a very tough dude, but I think Goodridge wins this one because of his previous experience in Pride and K1.

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kevin Randleman

Kevin Randleman is a big strong kid with great wrestling abilities. He could use his strength and wrestling skills to get the takedown, but Sakuraba works very well off his back. Sakuraba is very good at submission fighting, and Randleman will have to defend a whole range of jiu-jitsu maneuvers. Randleman could hurt Sakuraba, if he gets side-mount and lands punches. Sakuraba is very technical and skilled, but when it comes to grounding-and-pounding, he's not a tough kid.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (PRIDE FC Interim Heavyweight Championship Match)

With Fedor Emelianenko sustaining an injury, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic will face the former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. It's a classic match-up! Cro Cop is a strong striker, while Nogueira is an exceptional grappler. If Nogueira gets Cro-Cop to the mat, he will win by submission.

The Middleweight Tournament

The Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Tournament is going to come down to one champion. But first, the winner will have to defeat two people on that night. We haven't seen a tournament format of this caliber in a very long time. It will be interesting to see which fighters weather the worst storm and meet in the final. From my experience in MMA, I know it's not necessarily who is the best fighter on that night. The championship comes down to which fighter gets through the first match with minimal damage.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell

This fight is going to be interesting because both combatants punch very hard. Although Liddell has more experience in kickboxing, Jackson has superior wrestling skills. The outcome of this fight hinges on strategy. If Chuck fights intelligently and stays within his game - weaves and slides out and forces Quinton to use a lot of energy - I think he has a better chance at victory. As long as Chuck fights smart and picks his shots, he should win the fight.

However, if Quinton decides to stand and throw bombs ???If Chuck gets into a slug-fest with Quinton, he'll lose. Quinton is extremely strong and throws big, heavy punches. For that reason, if Chuck tries to throw down with Quinton, he'll get knocked out.

Looking at the fight right now, it's hard to know how they're going to come out and fight. But, the advantage will be with the fighter who can control the pace.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Hidehiko Yoshida

I think Wanderlei Silva will destroy this guy. Yoshida has a slight chance of beating Wanderlei if he can control the fight from the standpoint of takedowns and positioning. But, Yoshida doesn't want to be on the bottom because Wanderlei will pound him. As long as the fight remains on the feet, Yoshida has little chance. Wanderlei is too big, too strong, and definitely too fast. He's got strong punches, strong kicks and he's quick and accurate.

Dan Henderson vs. Murilo Bustamante (The Middleweight Tournament Match #3)

This is the reserve match for the middleweight tournament. If one of the victors gets hurt in the opening round, the winner of this match will fight in the championship as a replacement. Either one of these guys could win the tournament.

Dan Henderson is a very strong kid, but Bustamante has a lot of skill, especially in grappling. Once again the outcome depends on strategy. To be successful Henderson has to take Bustamante down and ground-and-pound him. Henderson also has to be cautious that he doesn't get turned or caught in a leg lock or arm bar. Henderson will have to shoot several times to control the fight. And, When he's on the ground, he will have to stay very busy.

The Finals

It's very tough to pick a winner because all the fighters are really good. Going out on a limb, I think Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell are my favorites to advance. But Quinton Jackson also has a good chance because of his strength and toughness.

If Wanderlei and Chuck face-off, what happens?

Wanderlei, in my estimation, has more direct punches and kicks. At the same time, he has an arduous challenge because Chuck is a really tough competitor. In the end, it depends on who has more difficulty in their first fight and how much wear-and-tear they've had to absorb.

Chuck, however, faces the additional obstacle of being the outsider. Wanderlei and Quinton have a lot of experience in Pride and they are very popular fighters with the Japanese. They have the "home field advantage." It's that way in all sports. The home team gets the calls. It's no different in Japan, Chuck is going to have to knock Wanderlei out or completely dominate him.

For fans that haven't been exposed to many Pride fights, there are many differences from the UFC. The biggest difference in Pride is the ring, and you definitely have to have a different game plan. In the cage, you can shoot-in and push somebody into the cage. You also see many fighters try to reach down and scoop the legs In a cage. In a ring, however, you can't reach down and scoop the legs.

The Japanese fans are also very unique. In the United States the fans are boisterous and loud: they cheer, scream, and yell. The fans in Japan, however, are quiet and reserved.

Many young fighters don't realize it, but when there's a quiet crowd, they think, "I'm not doing anything, I've got to do something." That's when they make a mistake by forcing the action and getting caught. In Japan you have to be patient. The fans really appreciate and enjoy what the fighters do; they're just more reserved as they watch. They understand fighting as much as American fans, but in a different way.

I'm looking forward to the fights in Pride. It should be a great card. To the fans in Japan and the fans at pride, God Bless. I hope to see you soon.

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Ken Shamrock is "The Worlds Most Dangerous Man" and now a regular BoxingInsider.com contributor. Ken Shamrock cannot answer fan mail, but all questions and comments will be considered for future columns ShamrockInsider@aol.com. Ken Shamrock is available for public appearances and autograph sessions. Please send all inquiries to MMABookings@aol.com

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