September 15, 2005

by Ryan Bennett
Pride’s Bushido show will be the best lightweight tournament in the history of MMA and their middleweight tourney is stacked as well. There is one big problem with this upcoming tournament. Some of the people in America won’t be able to see it.

According to the Pride website, September 25th will be the show date for Dish subscribers and some cable companies. However if you have InDemand Cable, the pay per view date for the upcoming show is scheduled for November 25th. That’s right, it’s a 2-month delay. For those who would like to voice their comments to InDemand you can reach them at http://www.indemand.com/about/contactUs.jsp

As far as the tournament goes, it should be absolutely spectacular. Phil Baroni continues to turn things around as he leaves for Japan on Saturday to get ready for the tournament. Baroni will be rematching against Ikuhisa Minowa, a fighter he defeated just a few months ago in the first round of the middleweight tournament. If the American can get by Minowa for a second time, he may fight a fighter he called out years ago, while in the UFC in Murilo Bustamante. Busta will have to get buy the very tough Masanori Suda in order to advance in the upper bracket. Here is how the bracket shapes up….

Pride Bushido Tournament
September 25th
Ariake Coliseum.


The Welterweight (83kg/183lbs) Pairings:

Bracket A:
– Phil Baroni (USA) vs. Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa (Japan)
– Masanori Suda (Japan) vs. Murilo Bustamante (Brazil)

Bracket B:
– Ryo Chonan (Japan) vs. Dan Henderson (USA)
– Akihiro Gono (Japan) vs. Daniel Acacio (Brazil)

Welterweight Tournament Reserve Bout
– Ryuta Sakurai (Japan) vs. Paulo Filho (Brazil)

Pride has put together the most spectacular Lightweight Tournament in MMA history. It’s a tournament that showcases the best 160-pound fighters in the world. Since the UFC has decided not to focus any longer in the lightweight class, DSE snatched former UFC champion Jens Pulver and former #1 contender Yves Edwards, to represent the American contingent. Edwards has spent time training with a former foe in Josh Thomson. Thomson declined an invitation to the tourney because he didn’t have enough quality time to prepare for the tournament.

Japan has four fighters well represented in Takanori Gomi who will square off against countryman Tatsuya Kawajiri. Arguably the top two seeds in the tournament.

Mach Sakurai battled against Matt Hughes for a UFC title a few years ago. Now he goes against Hughes teammate Jens Pulver in the opening round. Naoyuki Kotani, the final of the four Japanese fighters, will go against Brazilian Luis Azeredo to round out the first round match ups. Here is the lightweight card.

The Lightweight (73kg/160lbs) Pairings:

Lightweight Tournament Bouts

Bracket A:
– Takanori Gomi (Japan) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan)
– Naoyuki Kotani (Japan) vs. Luis Azeredo (Brazil)

Bracket B:
– Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (Japan) vs. Jens Pulver (USA)
– Yves Edwards (USA) vs. Joachim Hansen (Norway)

Lightweight Tournament Reserve Bout
– Dokonjonosuke Mishima (Japan) vs. Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (USA)