Japanese based Pride Fighting Championships will be making its long awaited debut on American soil this Saturday, October 21st at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in a card appropriately titled Pride 32, 'The Real Deal.'
With recent success of organizations like the United States based Ultimate Fighting Championships, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting (MMA) has made huge strides in gaining popularity and mainstream acceptance throughout the world. Make no mistake about it though, Dream Stage Entertainment, promoter of the Pride Fighting Championships, is not looking to ride on the coattails of any other organization when they make their American Debut.
Fans will be treated to a card consisting of some of the greatest talent to ever step into a ring or cage this Saturday night and Oddmakers will give every U.S. fan the opportunity to cash in on the entertainment without having to make the trip to Las Vegas.
The main event features a matchup between a man many regard as the most dominant and well rounded fighter in the history of MMA, Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko and UFC and Pride veteran Mark Coleman. Emelianenko is the current Pride Heavyweight champion and will be making his debut on U.S. soil. What is striking about this matchup is Oddmakers's fight oddsmaker have Emelianenko listed as almost a 13 to 1 betting favorite even though he is squaring off against a man who has had one of the most successful heavyweight campaigns in the brief history of MMA. A former NCAA Wrestling Champion from Ohio State, Coleman, is riding high, fresh off a win as a 4-1 underdog against 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion Brazilian Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.
Rua, will be making his second return to the ring since his devastating loss to Coleman in February, as he faces off against Coleman's Hammer House teammate Kevin Randleman. Oddmakers has installed 'Shogun' Rua as just better than a 2 to 1 favorite to beat Randleman. It will be interesting to see how the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission limit Rua?s game plan as his stronger offensive weapons, foot stomps and soccer kicks, will not be allowed under NSAC rules.
Rounding out the "Real Deal" card are Pride World Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, from Apple Valley, California, who will be taking on former UFC Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort from Brazil, and the 'New York Bad Ass' Phil Baroni who will be taking on Japan's Yosuke Nishijima.
Henderson has been installed as just better than a 2 to 1 favorite over Belfort, while Oddmakers lists Baroni as almost a 4 to 1 favorite over Nishijima. Baroni and Henderson are both rebounding from losses to Pride Welterweight Grand Prix semi finalist Kazuo Misaki. Masaki was considered to have no chance in the Grand Prix and Oddmakers customers that smelled upset cashed tickets at nearly 4 to 1 odds in both fights.
Other matchups on the Pride Fighting Championships 32 'The Real Deal' card that Oddmakers will be featuring odds on include:
Josh Barnett(2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix Runner-Up) vs. Pawel Nastula (Polish Olympic Judo Gold Medalist)
Kazuhiro Nakamura (Japanese Olympic Judo Olympian) vs. Travis Galbraith(Canadian MMA Veteran)
Robbie Lawler(Former Icon Sport World Champion and UFC Star) vs. Joey Villasenor (King of the Cage Champion)
Eric (Butternbean) Esch (Boxing Superstar) vs. Sean O'Haire (Ex WWE and K-1 Star)