LOS ANGELES, California – The four match ups for the second round
of the sixteen-man heavyweight tournament, CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2004,
have been announced. The event will take place on June 20th, 2004
from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and is scheduled to debut on
North American pay per view on same day delay.
At TOTAL ELIMINATION 2004 in April, sixteen fighters started, now
In the first announced match for the second round of the
tournament, reigning PRIDE FC heavyweight champion Fedor
Emelianenko will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin “The
Monster” Randleman. Emelianenko is one of the hardest hitters in
the sport, but besides his heavy hands, he is also technically
versed in submissions (he was the 1997 Russian National Judo &
Sambo Champion, the 1997 European Sambo Champion and placed first
in the 2002 World Sambo Championships in the heavyweight
In the first round of the tournament, Emelianenko eliminated 2000
Grand Prix champion Mark “The Hammer” Coleman with a lightning
quick arm bar from the guard. Now he is set to take on Coleman’s
top student and teammate, Kevin Randleman! “The Monster” was a
state-wrestling champion in high school and also wrestled for Ohio
State University where he was a three-time All-American and two
time national champion.
Randleman is coming off of one of the biggest upsets in mixed
martial arts history after his KO victory over the seemingly
invincible Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic during the first round. With
Coleman in his corner, Randleman is looking to eliminate another of
the tournament favorites in Fedor Emelianenko.
In the second bout, PRIDE FC interim heavyweight champion, Antonio
Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira will take on Heath Herring of Texas. A
member of the Brazilian Top Team, Nogueira is one of the finest
practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the world. Whether on the
ground or standing toe to toe, “Minotauro” can mix it up, peppering
his opponents with quick jabs and knees from the clinch.
In the first round of the tournament, Nogueira eliminated a very
game opponent in Japan’s Hirotaka Yokoi. Fighting out of Holland
and representing Team Golden Glory, “The Texas Crazy Horse” Heath
Herring brings with him a well-balanced arsenal of submissions,
strikes, and wrestling. Always a top contender in the heavyweight
division, Herring eliminated Japanese fighter Yoshiki Takahashi via
KO during the first round of the tournament.
Now Herring moves on to possible redemption, as his match with
Nogueira is not only to advance in the tournament but also a
long-awaited rematch! These two previously met in the ring in 2001
at PRIDE FC: CHAMPIONSHIP CHAOS in which Nogueira won via decision
in one of the most action-packed heavyweight bouts in PRIDE FC
In the third bout, Giant Silva will go head to head with Japanese
star Naoya Ogawa. At 7’5” and 528 lbs, Paulo Silva Cesar, better
known as “Giant Silva,” is one of the most imposing physical
specimens ever to compete in mixed martial arts. With his
incredible strength and reach advantage, he constantly poses
match-up problems for his opponents.
In the first round of the tournament, Silva was very impressive,
submitting Sumo wrestler Henry “Sentoryu” Miller. The 6’4”,
253-pound Ogawa is a silver medallist in Judo (at the 1992
Barcelona Olympic Games) and brings in a mixed martial arts record
of 6-0. In the first round of the tournament, Ogawa eliminated K-1
striker Stefan Leko by choke.
In the final tournament bout of the night, Russia’s Sergei
Kharitonov will face Dutchman Semmy Schilt. Kharitonov hails from
Moscow, Russia and this undefeated fighter (8-0) has quietly made
his presence felt in mixed martial arts; in his two PRIDE FC
appearances he was impressive, armbarring both of his opponents
(Jason Nobunaga and L.A. Giant).
In the first round of the tournament, Kharitonov completely
dismantled the dangerous Murilo “Ninja” Rua via KO. The pride of
Holland, the nearly seven-foot tall Semmy Schilt is an expert kick
boxer who uses his reach advantage to cause havoc in mixed martial
arts. Schilt is devastating on his feet, often using a massive
barrage of punches, kicks, and knees to overwhelm his
Thus far during his career, this Golden Glory team member has won
the titles of Hokutoki DaiDoyuko Champion and King of Pancrase. In
the first round of the tournament, Schilt dispatched “Big” Gan
McGee via arm bar.
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
PRIDE FC 16-Man Heavyweight Tournament
CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2004 June 20, 2004 Saitama Super Arena (Second
FINAL CONFLICT 2004 August 15, 2004 Saitama Super Arena
(Semi-Finals and Finals)
PRIDE FC: CRITICAL COUNTDOWN 2004 will premiere on North American
pay per view through iNDEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH NETWORK, UrbanXtra,
TVN1, Bell Express Vu, and Viewer’s Choice Canada on Sunday, June
20th, 2004. The premiere time is 9:00pm EST, 6:00pm PST and the
count down show is at 8:30pm EST, 5:30pm PST. For additional replay
times, please contact your pay per view provider or
Participants and fight card are subject to change.
For more information on PRIDE FC, visit pridefc.com!