Pride Shockwave Dynamite 2002

80,000 martial arts fans in attendance on a blazing hot summer day. Helio Gracie lights the Olympic flame, Antonio Inoki parachutes into the stadium. This writer was there and I still get goosebumps from the memory.

One fight in particular: Bobb Sapp who was 2-0 in MMA, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira who was 16-1 at the time and widely regarded as the best heavyweight in the world, went at it.

Nogueira nearly got himself killed after being dropped on his head by The Beast (who actually lived up to his ring name then) and the first 10-minute round consisted of Nogueira struggling with the mountain of muscle that is Sapp.

The Brazilian warrior showed his mettle, and not for the first time, coming out in the second round and arm barring the giant. The stadium flew out of their seats in a standing ovation this writer has never seen the likes of at any martial arts event since.

About the Author

Stewart Fulton
Pancrase MMA commentator on UFC Fight Pass. Twitter @sfultonMMA