The Official Scorecard - Pride 28 - High Octane
Halloween 2004. Some people went to horror movies or parties, while others tuned in to watch a real life Axe Murderer, Wanderlei Silva, who in this case was defending his Pride Middleweight Championship in a rematch against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The pair first met at Final Conflict 2003 in the finals of the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix where Silva defeated Jackson in the first round. The co-main event saw “The Baby Faced Assassin,” Josh Barnett, make his Pride debut against Mirko “Cro-Cop” Fillipovic.
The judge has made his decision so let’s go to the scorecard!
Heath Herring (25-10) vs. Hirotaka Yokoi (10-1)
Yokoi found himself vastly overmatched in this fight with perennial top Pride heavyweight contender, Heath Herring. In less than three minutes, Herring twice had Yokoi trapped in the north-south position with a barrage of knees dinging off of Yokoi’s dome. The ref stopped it the first time to warn Herring about hitting the back of the head; the second time it was stopped, Yokoi had enough and Herring won the fight.
Heath Herring wins via KO – Round 1, 1:55
Fight Score: 6.5
Mu Bae Choi (3-0) vs. Soa Palelei (7-0)
This heavyweight fight was on its way towards a generous score of maybe a five until the final moments of the second round. Up until then, the majority of the fight had been spent in the clinch as the fighters jockeyed for position while missing several opportunities to inflict damage. Palelei would connect in spurts, hurting Choi, but those times were few and far between. Just as Choi looked like was about to barely survive another round, he pulled out the come from behind submission win shocking most in attendance.
Mu Bae Choi wins via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) - Round 2, 4:55
Fight Score: 6.5
Ricardo Arona (8-2) vs. Sergey Ignatov (0-1)
Ricardo Arona entered this fight with redemption on his mind after being on the receiving end of the most memorable slam KO ever in MMA, courtesy of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at Critical Countdown 2004. Ignatov was coming off of a three-year plus hiatus from fighting, so it appears that Pride was helping Arona regain some of that lost mojo. For nearly ten minutes, Arona ran a clinic on Ignatov, beating him up with leg kicks and ground and pound until he wrapped up a submission that he held a tad too long.
Ricardo Arona wins via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1, 9:05
Fight Score: 7
Aleksander Emilianenko(4-1) vs. James Thompson (6-1)
Thompson came out like pine cone thrown at a beehive and Aleksander stung the heck out of him. This is the best ten second fight in you’re bound to find. Well, technically eleven seconds but who’s counting? I mean c’mon, it even made Fedor smile at the end. How often does that happen?
Aleksander Emilianenko wins via KO – Round 1, 0:11
Fight Score: 7.5
Alistair Overeem (18-4) vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara (15-12-1)
Say what you will about Kanehra’s record coming into this fight (or his record since), but the guy has an impressive list of men he’s faced. During a four-fight run from 2002-2004, Kanehara took on Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Alistair Overeem, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a row. Prior to that, during a six month span in 2001, he faced Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, and Matt Hughes. For his effort against Overeem, he didn’t have anything to offer the (then) lanky Dutchman. This fight looked like a sparring session for Overeem who mercifully ended the fight with a not-so-merciful knee from the clinch that opened a ravine under Kanehara’s right eye.
Alistair Overeem wins via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) – Round 2, 3:52
Fight Score: 5.5
Mark Hunt (0-1) vs. Dan Bobish (9-6)
After losing to a world class Judoka (Hidehiko Yoshida) in his MMA debut, Hunt’s second MMA fight saw him take on another ground specialist in Division III NCAA heavyweight wresting champ, Dan Bobish. The 335 pound Bobish hurled the not as big but pretty damn close Hunt to the ground with ease with a belly-to-belly toss. On the ground, Bobish mauled Hunt for several minutes until the fight found its way back to the feet, where the killer for all big men sunk her claws in Bobish: cardio. A Hunt body kick seconds later ended what had the potential to be a great performance from Bobish.
Mark Hunt wins via KO – Round 1, 6:23
Fight Score: 7
Dan Henderson (15-3) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (4-3)
A fight here that was over before it really ever got started. Henderson slammed Nakamura to the mat and in the ensuing moments, Nakamura suffered a fight ending shoulder injury.
Dan Henderson wins via TKO (Injury) – Round 1, 1:15
Fight Score: 4
Josh Barnett (18-1) vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (13-2-2)
The co-main event was set to be a barnburner featuring the Pride debut of Barnett, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. After a quick scramble that took the fight to Cro Cop’s guard, Barnett was tapping out after a freak shoulder injury. This one scores less than the Henderson and Nakamura fight because it was Barnett’s long-anticipated debut and a marquee fight in the heavyweight division. Therefore the fluke injury was a much bigger disappointment.
Mirko Filipovic wins via Submission (Injury) – Round 1, 0:47
Fight Score: 3
Pride Middleweight Championship
Wanderlei Silva (27-3-1, 1NC) vs. Quinton Jackson (21-4)
There was no love lost between Rampage and The Axe Murderer after their first bout a year prior in the finals of the 2003 Pride Middleweight GP which saw Silva reign supreme over Jackson, who earned his shot at Silva’s title following his aforementioned powerbomb slam KO over Arona. An intense back-and-forth brawl between Silva and Jackson came to a memorably violent halt that started with a hard right hand from Silva which led to devastating Silva knees from the clinch and ended with Jackson dangling unconscious over the bottom rope with blood raining from his face. In a career jammed with vicious finishes, Silva’s KO over Jackson here is his most vicious.
Wanderlei Silva wins via KO – Round 2, 3:26
Fight Score: 10
Total: 57 out of 90
Average Fight Score: 6.33
Even with the low scores in the co-main event and the Henderson vs. Nakamura fight, Pride 28 – High Octane still earned a pretty good score and is one of the most enjoyable of all the Pride events to watch over and over again. It’s worth owning as part of your collection if for nothing more than main event.