|A CEREMONY FOR THE MVP AND BEST BOUT AWARDS
A ceremony for the MVP and Best Bout awards, voted for by users of the PRIDE Official Site and PRIDE portable phone site, was held at a hotel in Tokyo on December 29th, 2005
Just 2 days before SHOCKWAVE, the MVP and Best Bout awards for 2005 were announced today. Users of the PRIDE Official Site and PRIDE portable phone site voted on the awards.
Takanori Gomi had a spectacular year in PRIDE BUSHIDO and received more than 20,000 votes to become this year's MVP. Gomi received nearly twice as many votes as the runner-up, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Additionally, Takanori Gomi and Tatsuya Kawajiri's PRIDE BUSHIDO 9 fight on September 25th was voted as this year's Best Bout, giving Gomi an award for both MVP and Best Bout. The Gomi-Kawajiri bout beat the runner-up bout of Fedor Emelianenko-Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic by a slim margin.
The 3rd place for the Best Bout award was Mauricio "Shogun" Rua VS Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. This battle received strong support from PRIDE's core fans.
Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara, Pride General Director Nobuhiko Takada and Takanori Gomi were present at the award ceremony. Gomi, receiving two awards expressed his happiness at receiving the awards and spoke about his upcoming New Year's Eve fight, "It's an honor to receive these awards before a title match. Receiving this kind of award gives me confidence and I believe they are the result of all my hard work since I began fighting in PRIDE in February last year. Now I will do my best on New Year's Eve to become the Lightweight Grand Prix Champion and the true MVP." Gomi was then awarded a trophy, a plaque and a monetary award.
"We want to make fan-selected MVPs and Best Bouts a custom, including for Heavyweight, Middleweight, Welterweight and Lightweight Divisions. I hope this will serve as trigger to motivate all the fighters," Sakakibara commented, indicating that he intends to continue MVP and Best Bout selections.
Comments from Tatsuya Kawajiri, who received the Best Bout award along with Gomi but wasn't present at the conference, are below.
2005 PRIDE MVP
1st Place: Takanori Gomi
2nd Place: Mauricio Rua
3rd Place: Fedor Emelianenko
4th Place: Mirko Filipovic
5th Place: Ricardo Arona
6th Place: Ikuhisa Minowa
7th Place: Tatsuya Sakurai
8th Place: Alistair Overeem
9th Place: Kazushi Sakuraba
10th Place: Tatsuya Kawajiri
2005 PRIDE Best Bout
1st Place: Takanori Gomi VS Tatsuya Kawajiri (PRIDE BUSHIDO 9)
2nd Place: Fedor Emelianenko VS Mirko Filipovic (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Final Round)
3rd Place: Mauricio Rua VS Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 2nd Round)
4th Place: Ricardo Arona VS Mauricio Rua (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Final Round)
5th Place: Takanori Gomi VS Luis Azeredo (PRIDE BUSHIDO 7)
6th Place: Wanderlei Silva VS Ricardo Arona (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Final Round)
7th Place: Wanderlei Silva VS Hidehiko Yoshida (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Opening Round)
8th Place: Takanori Gomi VS Luis Azeredo (PRIDE BUSHIDO 9)
9th Place: Mirko Filipovic VS Mark Coleman (PRIDE 29)
10th Place: Quinton Jackson VS Mauricio Rua (PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Opening Round)
Tatsuya Kawajiri's Comments
Thank you very much for choosing my fight as the Best Bout of 2005. Although I'm not able to attend today's award ceremony but I would like to thank the fans that voted and my opponent, Gomi. I believe this award belong to Gomi, because he won the fight. I will continue to do my best so that I will be chosen for again for the Best Bout next year and after wining that fight, chosen as the MVP. I ask all of you for your support.
December 29, 2005 Tatsuya Kawajiri