PRIDE Fighting – Like UFC But With More Hugs


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.