THE UPCOMING FEBRUARY 26TH PRIDE 31
01/23/2006

Dream Stage Entertainment held a press conference on January 18th to announced two matches for the upcoming February 26th PRIDE 31 at the Saitama Super Arena. Yousuke Nishijima, whose participation was announced a few days ago, will fight against the Samoan monster, Mark Hunt!

Mark Hunt (Oceania Super Fighter Gym) VS Yousuke Nishijima (Free)

Former pro-boxing WBF World Cruiserweight Champion Yousuke Nishijima will make his PRIDE debut against former K-1 Grand Prix Champion Mark Hunt. Both fighters are confident in their punches and with those thin, open-finger gloves, one of them is certain to go down if a punch gets through. Expect to see both fighters slug it out in a thrilling match. Nishijima claims that he will not enter the ring as a boxer, but as a mixed martial artist. Hunt, on the other hand, showed improved wrestling skills in his past bout against Mirko Filipovic and is definitely growing as a mixed martial artist. In addition to standing punches, it will be interesting to see how these two strikers handle ground-and-pound.

Tsuyoshi Kosaka (Team Alliance) VS Mario Sperry (Brazilian Top Team)

After a year away, Tsuyoshi Kosaka will come back to PRIDE. In his first bout in PRIDE at BUSHIDO 6, Kosaka lost to the Heavyweight Champion, Fedor Emelianenko, but he is still among the top Japanese fighters. Hopes are on him as one of the few Heavyweight Japanese fighters. Kosakas opponent, Brazilian Top Team instructor Mario Sperry, has also been away from PRIDE for a while. Although the Top Team hasnt had much success recently, Sperry will be looking for a definitive victory as he leads his team on. This will be a match-up between two of the best grapplers in Japan and Brazil.