PRIDE (or, to use its Christian name, PRIDE Fighting Championships), was founded in Japan in 1996. It’s an international mixed-martial arts league, similar in format to UFC, where two large men hit each other as hard as they can when they’re not hugging. If you can follow UFC, you can follow PRIDE.

PRIDE differs from UFC, though, in a few key areas:

  • Fighters in a PRIDE match can kick downed opponents in the head, where UFC frowns on it. Oddly, PRIDE forbids elbow strikes to the head, where UFC allows them (so long as it’s not point first, i.e. fatal).
  • UFC bouts consist of three rounds of five minutes each. This is already pretty grueling – while football requires short bursts of adrenaline every 40 seconds, MMA demands a pretty consistent level of exertion. PRIDE, preferring to watch huge men stagger like wounded elephants, sets its first round at ten minutes and any subsequent rounds at five.
  • There are a lot more Japanese men in disturbing tights in a PRIDE fight than you’ll find, on average, in UFC.

If the above excites you half as much as it excites me, check out “PRIDE Fighting Championship” on FSN. Fox Sports rumormonger Jay Glazer and erstwhile MMA fighter Frank Trigg. In a couple of ill-fitting silk suits, they turn 30 minutes’ worth of archived footage into 48 minutes of show by adding their own redundant analysis. For extra fun, watch the fight recaps where Frank Trigg highlights the StrikeZoneTM – a CGI’ed box that inevitably appears around a fighter’s ass, crotch or face.”He really turned this fight around,” Trigg will say, “by planting his feet, picking his opponent up, and slamming him into the mat skull first” (said skull-slamming actually happening to Josh “The Baby-faced Assassin” Barnett, a match he went on to win). And then we StrikeZoneTM on Josh’s ass.

FSN’s PRIDE recaps are the kind of show DVR was made for, as it comes on at odd hours (7 PM on Sundays, and not always then) and has a pretty low signal-to-noise ratio. But if you want to watch Fedor Emilianenko legally rape a man, this is probably the show for you.

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  • RJ

    Eventually, I’m going to post a quiz entitled, “UFC Match or gay porn?” with some cropped screenshots of both. That’ll have to wait until baseball’s offseason, though.

  • brett

    Oh man, you can’t forget the occasional appearances/commentary by Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.

  • Serpico

    RJ, make that happen.

  • Dudes

    this is in response to your article concerning the UFC. I think you guys are totally wrong. In fact I challenge any of you guys to stick one of your thumbs up your own poopers and sniff a line of SARS. I think that this experience will prove my point.

    Nick Watt

  • brett

    I think that the UFC is great, and that Dana White has done a huge deal of good since assuming the presidency of the organization. He has made the league more fan friendly (TUF, SpikeTV, etc…) and has brought over lots of top talent (from Pride) in CroCop, Anderson Silva, and Rampage Jackson. That said, it’s pretty clear that Pride is more striking-centric and UFC is more grappling, ground work, and submission oriented. Personally, I really enjoy both UFC and Pride, as I believe they showcase different sides to MMA.

    Anyway, Nick is too busy thinking about our poopers to point out what exactly he disagreed with in the article.

  • Nick is in the Army, so either they all think about poopers all the time, or he figures with enough internet posting about poopers the army will not ask, but tell him to leave before his remaining 2 years is up.

    Does PRIDE have a special shaped ring like UFC with “The Octagon?” Perhaps the “PRIDE Rhombus?”

  • I’m not even sure what Nick’s talking about, except when he refers to my thumb in my butt, on which I’m an expert.

    PRIDE matches are held in a standard wrestling/boxing ring – a square with roped-off boundaries.

    And I agree with the distinction Brett draws, with the caveat that it’s only a minor difference. There’s plenty of examples of both powerful strikers in PRIDE (Emilianenko) and grapplers in UFC (St. Pierre).

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