If there is one thing we miss about PRIDE FC, it was the mystery.
As if an MMA fight isn’t unpredictable enough, there was something about PRIDE where you knew anything could happen and it often did. On the same card where you might see the most technical flying armbar, you could also see a trained mixed martial artist tap out to a forearm choke.
What a crazy world it was in the PRIDE FC ring, so let’s take a look at some of the craziest submissions they brought the fight world.
We’ll start with the Americana because it’s not exactly the most technically difficult submission of all-time but it’s not often you see it completed in a fight and it was none other than Butterbean himself, five years off of his KO victory over Johnny Knoxville, sinking the gigantic Zuluzinho with the basic arm lock.
Sporting pants that would have made anyone’s head explode, Shinya Aoki took seconds to get Joachim Hansen to the mat. Once there, it was a struggle for Aoki to find exactly what choke he wanted to use to submit Hansen. Oddly enough, with how easy it was for Aoki to dominate Hansen, it took one of the more rare submissions to make him tap.
The Ezekiel choke isn’t difficult to learn with gi jiu-jitsu, but with MMA having moved well beyond the days of a fighter wearing a gi in a bout, seeing an Ezekiel choke is pretty rare for anybody not named Hidehiko Yoshida or Aleksei Oleinik. Of course there was one in PRIDE FC.
The scarf hold isn’t the most impressive looking submission of all-time so it was a very fitting end to a fight that was one-sided in a very uninteresting way. You kind of laugh and say to yourself, “Of course, that’s how it had to end,” when the referee waves the fight off.
One of the most forgotten gems PRIDE FC ever gave us was the old double armbar. Otsuka found not one, but two arms to lock up in a whirlwind of terrifying ground-and-pound. We most likely won’t be seeing another one of these anytime soon.
Back to basics we go. When a smother, a scarf choke and a forearm choke don’t work, a good old-fashioned strangle should do the trick!
You can sure imagine how the “can opener” would be uncomfortable, and while it doesn’t look like the most painful lock of all time, it’s hard to imagine it being a fun spot to be in for ol’ Igor Borisov.
Back again, Mr. Yoshida. With nine professional wins and eight of them being submissions, it was almost like Yoshida was collecting different submissions. He checked PRIDE FC’s lone “single-wing choke” off the list when he took out everybody’s favorite brawler, Tank Abbott.
Shinya Aoki is also doubling up on the list with one of the most entertaining sequences in PRIDE FC history. After first landing a flying triangle, high-paced groundwork landed Aoki in a mounted triangle that college student Clay French couldn’t battle his way out of. It’s no double armbar, but it’s one of the buried fights in PRIDE that every MMA fan needs to see.
Oh yeah, the King of the 209 stopped by PRIDE FC to take on one of the most successful fighters in the history of the promotion. The go-for-broke style of “The Fireball Kid” landed him in a tactical mess when Diaz locked him up in a gogoplata. While the result was overturned to a no contest, it’s still worth watching that beautiful Diaz BJJ.
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