Pride 33: The Second Coming – DVD Review

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Pride 33 was the second (and as it turned out final) event held in the United States for the Japan-based promotion; and like many of their final events, they didn’t spare any expense in putting together a stacked fight card. Headlined by a Champion vs. Champion match between Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson for Silva’s Middleweight (Light-Heavyweight according to Unified Rules) Title, many were expecting to see a slugfest. And they delivered in an exciting fight that saw Henderson become the first-ever fighter to hold a title in two different weight classes.

The co-main event was also an interesting battle as Lightweight champion Takanori Gomi fought Nick Diaz in a match that saw a rare gogoplata submission applied for the victory. How rare is it? Well, more gogoplatas have been applied by WWE’s the Undertaker than have been performed in MMA fights. Anyway, it’s another fun match, and this helped to really put Diaz on the map after several tough losses in the UFC.

Other names you may recognize on this card are Shogun Rua, Sokoudjou, Mac Danzig (all in the UFC) and Frank Trigg (currently part time with TNA). All of them are in fights that will keep you entertained. And to be honest, I haven’t been as entertained by a MMA card in a ring since, well, the last Pride DVD I reviewed. I mean, let’s be honest – IFL matches are fricking boring as hell, but somehow Pride fighters mange to try and keep the action going and work for finishes. This is really a lot of action going on in a 3-hour card. All that was missing was a hockey fight, but sadly Don Frye didn’t fight here.

The commentary here is surprisingly good. You get Lon McEachern (yes, the World Series of Poker PBP guy) and Josh Barnett for the entire card, and Trigg joins back up about halfway through. I guess I’m just surprised here because Lon doesn’t have to play off Norman Chad and his unique “humour”. Barnett does a credible job here as well. Trigg does his usual solid job – the guy seems to be able to adapt to any PBP partner, and that’s not a bad thing.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Jason Ireland vs. Joachim Hansen
  • Kazuo Misaki vs. Frank “Twinkletoes” Trigg
  • Travis Wiuff vs. James Lee
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Sokoudjou
  • Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Mac Danzig
  • Sergey Kharitonov vs. Mike Russow
  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alistair Overeem
  • “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz
  • PrideFC Middleweight Championship: Wanderlei Silva vs. Dan Henderson

The disc is shown in 4:3 Stereo, which is perfectly fine for MMA. Watching fights in HD (or a facsimile thereof) is nice, but I don’t feel that 16:9 enhances the picture the same way that it does for, say, football (either one).

  • Behind The Scenes
  • Fighter Picture Montage
  • Pre-Fight Press Conference
  • Fighter Walk-Ins
  • Post-Fight Press Conference
  • Fighter Interviews

Obviously, not the most exciting batch of bonus features, but it’ll do. Besides, I think you’ll be pleased enough with the matches that you’ll overlook this part.

Pride was going down, but man they did not go gently into that good night, putting on another stellar card and basically showcasing their fighters for their impending free agency. Like the previous release, this really gives you an idea of why people loved this promotion. Give this one a look.


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