by Damon Martin
There have been quite a few Olympic gold medalists who have now competed in Pride, among them Judo champion and the Sydney games 81kg champion, Makoto Takimoto, who made his professional debut in the New Year’s Eve show last year winning a decision over American Henry Miller.
Since that fight, Takimoto has only fought one other time losing a decision to Kiyoshi Tamura in June. It was thought early on that Takimoto could possibly take on the same popularity that Hidehiko Yoshida has since his transition into MMA, but as of yet, he has not had the same level of success.
Takimoto is obviously a strong Judo master, but he has yet to show true form of transition and learning since fighting in Pride. His signing was a very big deal in Japan as all Olympians are heroes to the hometown fans, but the jury is still out on Takimoto and his chances of being a champion one day in full contact fighting.
Yoon Dong Sik is a Judo champion as well, and had a very rough debut a few months ago when he took on Pride legend, Kazushi Sakuraba in the first round of the middleweight grand prix. Outmatched within just a few seconds of the fight, Sik was unable to mount any offense and was quickly knocked out by the much more experienced Sakuraba.
This will be Yoon Dong Sik’s second attempt at mixed martial arts and he can hold on the fact that he honestly can’t do worse than he did in his debut. The Korean is a very accomplished Judo fighter, and the fight may end up being a spectacle more than an all out fight.
The winner of this fight basically will turn out to be who has learned more since their last fight out. The crowd will be heavily behind Takimoto, so that is a great motivator to have on your side. The fight is honestly a toss up and whoever loses will seriously need to reconsider their future in Pride.