Two Additional Cards Announced for Shockwave 2006

Two additional cards have been announced for PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006, to be held on December 31st at Saitama Super Arena. Josh Barnett and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will meet again after earlier putting on one of the best bouts of 2006! Akihiro Gono, who shot to the forefront during this year's Welterweight Grand Prix, will fight in his first New Year's Eve event against full-time New Year's Eve fighter, Yuki Kondo.

Josh Barnett (America/Freelance)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Brazil/Brazilian Top Team)

Barnett and Nogueira put on one of the most technical battles in PRIDE history during the Semi-Final Round of the Open Weight Grand Prix held in September. During the fight, it appeared that Barnett was close to finishing Nogueira with a neck-lock and a knee-bar and went on to win the decision 2-1. Nogueira, however, wasn't satisfied with the results, commenting to a magazine, "I was the one controlling the fight. I took him down many times and I got the mount. How are they judging aggressive grappling? I want to rematch Josh as soon as possible and submit him. I want to use these hands to make him tap." Will Nogueira be able to show the fans what it means to be the jujitsu magician? Or will Josh be able to prove once again that his catch wrestling, which he describes as a tool to destroy his opponents when compared to the "gentleman's sport" of jujitsu, is the strongest?




Akihiro Gono (Japan/GRABAKA)
Yuki Kondo (Japan/PANCRASE ism)

Following Takanori Gomi/Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kiyoshi Tamura/Ikuhisa Minowa, Akihiro Gono and Yuki Kondo will fight in the 3rd New Year's Eve match-up of Japanese superstars.

Gono and Kondo first faced each other in PANCRASE on December 1, 2001 as the leaders of a PANCRASE Tokyo/Yokohama VS GRABAKA team competition. One of the few true trash-talkers in Japanese MMA, Gono was trash-talking the entire PANCRASE group and he had a strong image as the enemy of PANCRASE at the time. Had he beaten Kondo, it would have been a complete domination of the PANCRASE team. However, Gono ended up being pounded into a pool of blood and lost by TKO when his corner threw in the towel at 52 seconds into the 3rd round.

Although a rematch was discussed many times after this loss, it was never realized. According to Gono, Kondo is the one fighter that he has always been determined to beat, no matter how long it takes. Now, after five years, this grudge will be settled in the PRIDE ring! Has the balance of power between these two fighters changed over the past five years or is Gono is for a repeat of the beating he took five years earlier?

Gono's entrance performances have also become bigger, and bolder, with each fight. All eyes will be on Gono to see what kind of performance he brings to the biggest event of the year, and before one of the most meaningful fights in his career.