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fxnj

Shoot fights with cool mat-work

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I'll start. I'm mainly interested in the 90's and early 2000's stuff when a lot of it was still influenced by pro wrestling.

 

Jason Delucia vs. Takafumi Ito

 

 

Hideo Tokoro vs. Hidehiko Matsumoto

 

 

Christea vs. Nakamura

 

 

Carlos Newton vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzpwjt

 

 

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Most Nog matches have good mat work. I would watch everything from the Coleman 9/24/01 fight through 3/16/03 vs Fedor. And then watch 4/24/04 vs Hirotaka Yokoi fight.

 

Allan Goes vs. Frank Shamrock (05/13/95 - Pancrase) has excellent ground work and may be the best overall Pancrase fight from the original incarnation ('93-'96).

 

Caol Uno vs. Rumina Sato (05/29/99 - Shooto). Great all around fight with excellent mat work.

 

Rumina Sato vs. Joel Gerson (03/15/98 - Shooto)

 

Rumina Sato vs. Takumi Nakayama (11/15/02 - Shooto)

 

Rumina Sato vs. Makato Ishikawa (03/11/05 - Shooto)

 

Caol Uno vs. Joachim Hansen (03/26/05 - K-1 Hero's)

 

There's a couple more that I have written down at home and will reply after work.

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Daisuke Nakamura vs. Hideo Tokoro:

 

 

That fight features the most exciting grappling exchanges of all time and it makes me wish some shoot style matches featured grappling exchanges like this from time to time.

 

There's also the Tokoro fight with Abel Cullum from DREAM which I remember being pretty great, but I can't find it YouTube.

 

A lot of the old Sakuraba PRIDE fights featured him breaking out some great looking grappling. The Newton match isn't a work despite the lack of striking. They had a gentleman's agreement backstage where they agreed to display their grappling and avoid throwing many strikes.

 

The Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie 90 minute fight from PRIDE is also must watch. Sakuraba puts on a clinic toying with Royce and taking advantage of his gi.

 

Rumina Sato's 6 second flying armbar against Charles Taylor is legendary:

 

 

That's how the Minoru Special should be done. :)

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Also, there's a ton of fun Minowaman stuff:





Japan had a ton of Catch Wrestlers and Submission Wrestlers that would have been great if they had decided to venture into pro-wrestling for a long run -- Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, Masakazu Imanari, Rumina Sato, Hayato Sakurai, Kazuyuki Miyata, Ikuhisa Minowa, Daisuke Nakamura, Norifumi Yamamoto, etc.

 

I know guys like Miyata, Minowaman and Nakamura ventured into pro-wres. on a couple of occasions, but they never had long runs and just had a match or two.

 

Tim Cooke had a thread on this already: Mat Work

 

I posted some cliff notes from the PRIDE Secret Files on how DEEP was originally planned on being a pro-wres. organization instead of an MMA organization and some of the matches Saeki wanted to book.

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Lil Nog (not Alexandre) vs. Kohsaka from the 9/7/02 DEEP show. Not so much traditional mat work as much as it is Kohsaka constantly sweeping Nog from the bottom. I imagine a UWF style match could be worked in this fashion. Tamura vs. Minowa is the main event and is a fun fight with some good mat work as well.

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I was going to mention the early PRIDE fights featuring Sakuraba, especially the Newton fight...but Edwin beat me to it. Those fights made me seek out Sakuraba's pro-wrestling work in UWF-I and Kingdom, and made me a real fan.

 

I am also a big fan of the "Hybrid Wrestling" era of Pancrase, the Masakatsu Funaki and Bas Rutten years, before they brought in gloves and striking and started using the cage. I know a lot of people dislike that stuff and find it boring, but I really enjoyed it. It is an acquired taste and your mileage may very for sure, but if you like grappling you might want to check that stuff out.

 

Of course...whether or not those early PRIDE fights and especially the early Pancrase stuff were really "shoots" or not is up for debate. Even if they were worked fights (which I think they probably were) they were certainly presented as shoots.

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Of course...whether or not those early PRIDE fights and especially the early Pancrase stuff were really "shoots" or not is up for debate. Even if they were worked fights (which I think they probably were) they were certainly presented as shoots.

Both organizations had admittedly fixed fights, but the weren't all fixed.

 

Ken Shamrock vs. Matt Hume from Pancrase is believed to have been a fix.

 

 

If you watch it, you can see the lack of struggle and how they just give up positions and don't even try and defend the takedowns.

 

PRIDE has some obvious worked fights, such as Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kyle Sturgeon which isn't only worked, but its a very poorly worked fight.

 

 

Also, Nobuhiko Takada vs. Mark Coleman has always been talked about being a work.

 

 

Gary Goodridge has namely been vocal about fixed PRIDE fights, however not all of the fights were fixed, just some of them.

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Great suggestions. I will check them out. PRIDE is actually kind of a blind spot for me beyond the famous stuff like Nog/Sapp and Frye/Takayama. I've always gravitated towards old-school Pancrase with the pro-style ruleset.

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I'm loving this thread. The Uno/Sato/Hansen shoot matches are poetry in motion. I love watching Carlos Newton's and Sakuraba's grappling. I'm an absolute Minowaman mark. I am looking forward to watching some of the other suggestions on here.

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Around the time Zuffa purchased UFC and PRIDE really took off in North America, Pancrase released a four volume set on VHS of their greatest matches from their early years. I bought it through Sherdog, as I recall. I loved that set, I watched it a bunch of times. Sadly, I don't have it anymore (not that it really matters, since I don't own a VCR anymore either) so I can't recommend any specific fights. I absolutely loved the Bas Rutten and Masakatsu Funaki fights from that era of Pancrase, but I know a lot of people hate that style. I remember the posters in the MMA Folder over at DVDVR used to mock early Pancrase relentlessly, because there were no closed fist strikes allowed, so it was mostly open handed slaps (which does seem weird initially, I grant you) and grappling on the mat. Pancrase called that style "Hybrid Wrestling" and I really liked it. I should look around, I am sure there are probably lots of places I can get that online now. At the time, it was harder to come by.

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Here, Wildman, have this for starters:

 

 

That's 5 hours of Bas Rutten's pancrase fights, narrated by... Bas Rutten.

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The Rutten/Funaki classic was what got me interested in Pancrase. Lots of great fights in that Rutten comp besides the Funaki stuff. The ones with Suzuki, Delucia, and Frank Shamrock are must-see. Also, the Ken Shamrock ones aren't all that competitive but a great look at what a dominant fighter Ken was in his prime.

 

In a lot of ways, Pancrase had the best rules. The lack of striking on the ground, rope breaks, and liberal stand-ups encouraged fighters to take risks and do lots of entertaining mat-work. It's a completely different thing from what you see in current UFC with guys just laying on each other.

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I actually watched this fight for the first time today. I'd always skipped it before as I'd heard they weren't too exciting together, but I came out thinking it was a great match. This is a good example of what I talked about earlier with Pancrase encouraging guys to take risks as you have Frank repeatedly going for leg locks from Suzuki's guard and escaping from full mount like it's no big deal. You just don't see stuff like that in UFC these days. Frank Shamrock moves like a freak athlete and Suzuki is a great foil for him as the slick grappler who keeps finding ways to through Shamrock's power moves and into submissions of his own. Main reason I'm posting this, though, is the commentary. The guy seems to be an actual fighter and is really good at explaining what's going so even people without much grappling knowledge can learn and follow along. Definitely seems like a channel worth keeping an eye on, assuming he doesn't get a copyright strike.

 

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Currently watching Battlecade Extreme Fighting 3.  Some great early grappling stuff there.  Hume vs Erik Paulson is pretty good, as was John Lewis- Johil Olivera.  Though obviously most famous for Maurice Smith knocking  Conan Silviera into the twilight zone.

 

Last show I watched was the first International Fighting Championship from  Ukraine.  Not a lot of grappling, but the first round match with Volvchanchyn beating Fred Floyd to a pulp has probably the hottest MMA crowd I've ever heard.  It actually starts out as an awesome stand-up fight with Igor fighting from underneath somewhat, but the last 3-4 minutes are just an unmitigated mauling.

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if this isn't just limited to mma, adcc and ebi have decent rulesets for spectators. saku's QUINTET is probably the closest active organization to what this thread is about. i've only seen their first event but i was very into it, dan strauss was pretty great in that one.

seconding the imanari shout out too, he was wild

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Not limited to MMA, so I'm all ears to those recs from ADCC and whatnot. Glad this got bumped as I did some BJJ rolling recently and it's gotten me watching lots of shoots lately. 

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Just now, gunder said:

Last show I watched was the first International Fighting Championship from  Ukraine.  Not a lot of grappling, but the first round match with Volvchanchyn beating Fred Floyd to a pulp has probably the hottest MMA crowd I've ever heard.  It actually starts out as an awesome stand-up fight with Igor fighting from underneath somewhat, but the last 3-4 minutes are just an unmitigated mauling.

He dismantles Paul Varelans in the final of that one too.  Vovchanchyn was a monster in those Russian NHB events from the mid-90s.

Just now, fxnj said:

Not limited to MMA, so I'm all ears to those recs from ADCC and whatnot. Glad this got bumped as I did some BJJ rolling recently and it's gotten me watching lots of shoots lately. 

I always had to be in the right mood to what ADCC when I was heavily into MMA, but from the handful of discs that I watched back in the day here are a few bouts that stood out to me for one reason or another:

Kaoru Uno vs Jean-Jacques Machado (Best of ADCC vol. 1)

Wellington Dias vs Baret Yoshida (Best of ADCC vol. 3)

Take Hanai vs Jorge 'Macaco' Patino (ADCC 2005: 77-87kg)

Roxanne Modaferi vs Leka Viera (ADCC 2005: Women)

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Quintet 3 took place last night. The format of Quintet is two teams of 5 face each other in a series of 1 vs 1 matches with an 8-minute limit. If someone gets submitted, he's eliminated, if there's a draw after eight minutes, both are eliminated. The team that runs out of members loses. There's no heel hooks allowed and the referees are very quick to issue warnings for lack of activity in closed guard, so it isn't necessarily the best ruleset for jiu-jitsu but it might be the most entertaining.  Polaris vs. 10th Planet is an outstanding match on this show. Every bout in it ended by submission. It's hyperagressive, high level grappling, which isn't that common. Really worth a watch.

 

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In the vein of QUINTET, here's an actual tag team shoot fight on ZST that someone posted on Twitter. Other examples of team fights are either Team Fighting Championships (look it up), bottom of the barrel stuff on shitty midwestern MMA shows or that one RIZIN fight which was a shitshow. This one is somehow pretty cool and has some interesting dynamics with the tags though. Katsumura went on to become a pro wrestler.

 

 

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