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Found 68 results

  1. Han vs. strikers always delivers. Here he's fighting the former Ludvig Borga who's wearing boxing gloves. While not an all-time classic, I will say this is quite the spectacle and visuals of this reminded me of Onita's fights with boxers. Han uses his speed and technique to try and ground the much bigger Finnish fighter. Meanwhile Halme is throwing brutal shots that drop Han to the face and body. The gloves however don't restrict Halme from getting throws in as he's able to hit a pretty big belly-to-back suplex in the finishing run. Han eventually is able to fight off Halme and he catches him with one of his wicked kneebars.
  2. I'm a sucker for Han vs. strikers, namely Dutch kickboxers as his matches with Vrij always deliver. While Nyman doesn't have the personality of Vrij and this isn't on par with the Vrij matches, this is still good. Nyman isn't afraid to throw fire-y flurries with some nasty leg and head kicks and Han commits the mistake of trying to stand with him and he eats some nasty head kicks, with one even him knocking him outside of the ring. Han also tries to get Nyman to gas while trying to dodge his flurries and shooting for takedowns to try and take advantage of his superior grappling. Quality finish with Nyman eventually falling to Han's takedown and a quick submission, although it seemed a bit odd as it seemed like someone was tapping the ring and Han thought Nyman had tapped out and he let the armbar go before he noticed Nyman hadn't tapped and he locked it in again until Nyman actually tapped.
  3. East Europeans were pretty much carrying the RINGS undercard in 1998. This was a genuinely great Ilioukhine performance as he basically manhandles Naruse for your amusement. I wouldn't say Naruse was carried but he wasn't doing anything super exciting either. Atleast he has a nice backhand. Some really good exchanges in this one.
  4. Awesome stuff here. The insane crowd reactions for the entrances clue you in on this being something special and commentary describes it as Maeda's final match in Osaka or something along those lines, definitely part of his retirement tour. The action itself is great as well, they did a great job of building up every transition on the mat and the keylock counter and the fighting over the leglocks were the highlights of the match, and honestly it probably wouldn't stand out if it happened on a smaller show a few years ago, but here it was more important that the action is good enough to supplement the beautiful atmosphere than to try and force a classic, which, with Maeda's detoriating health, almost certainly wouldn't have been as good of an option as a couple of minutes of tight work. ****
  5. Slick and at the same time hard fought shootstyle grappling. They used a lot of rope breaks and a match like this could easily become a soulless repetitive exhibition, but because these guys know how to work the match had lots of highlights and all the nearfalls got good heat. Kohsaka has clearly learned from the russians as he goes right at the cross heel hooks with Zouev. Neat finish too where Zouev goes for the rope again but Kohsaka cranks back and forces the tap.
  6. Eh, remember when shootstyle was fucking great? Kanehara brings a nice unusual to RINGS stiffness to his matches and when he was throwing kicks and knees he was walloping Illioukhine. He was also veteran enough to be competitive on the mat with the russian. Illiokhine's holds were absolutely clinical. Finish wasn't amazing, but solid enough and everything else here was a highly enjoyable grappler vs. Striker matchup.
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