PRIDE Fighters in the UFC

Before the collapse of PRIDE one could very well have argued that PRIDE had a larger dose of top tier fighters than the UFC.  When some of those fighters came to the UFC I expected them to dominate and win the titles fast.  I still believe that they had some good fighters, but if we look at the PRIDE stars in the UFC they haven’t done greatly, but I might add they haven’t done as poorly as some would suggest.  Let’s look at the best of the PRIDE fighters in the UFC.

  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua — he lost to Forrest Griffin in his only UFC match.  I would still bet on him to beat Forrest and think he could still hold the title.  His injory may have hurt him here.
  • Mirko Cro Cop – Lost to Gonzaga and Kongo.  He was the best fighter I had ever seen before his UFC career.  I look for him to fight once more in the UFC and be out quicly in some other organization.  That will hurt the UFC if a group like M1 has, Fedor, Josh Barnett, Arlovski, Couture, Aleksander Emelianenko and Cro Cop.  That would be better heavyweights than the UFC has. 
  • Wanderlai Silva — He is fighting in the toughest divison.  Granted he lost his debut, but he put on a great fight!  He may not be the Wanderlai he used to be. 
  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira –  He is 1-0 in the UFC.  He wasn’t impressive against Herring, but he still could hold the title by Saturday. 
  • Fabricio Werdum — He looked bad against Arlovski, but great against Gonzaga, appears to be next in line for a title shot. 
  • Rameau Thierry Sokodjou – Lost to another PRIDE guy in Machida.  Perhaps he was over-hyped.  Or Perhaps Machida is just that good.  He isn’t going away any time soon. 
  • Dan Henderson – He is 0-1 since his return, but he lost to a great fighter.  Also, if he looses to Anderson Silva that doesn’t mean he has disappointed. 

Why are these guys struggling?

  • Some are out of their prime (Wanderlai and Cro Cop)
  • Some of the rules differences hurt them.  The lack of being able to stomp really hurt Shogun and Wanderlai. 
  • The cage vs. the ring.  Cro Cop learned quickly he needed to train in a cage it is a different ball game. 

 Don’t beat them up too bad,  Rampage Jackson fought in PRIDE and lost some in PRIDE to these guys, now he holds the UFC title.  I still think we could see PRIDE fighters holding 3 of the titles by Spring time. 

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