Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Branson, Missouri
The Hidehiko Yoshida Appreciation Thread.
The Yoda of MMA. Hmmm, Yoshida?
Yoshida's one of those guys who always brought it. He was a world class judoka fighting monsters, and he did pretty damn good against those monsters. Well, mainly Wanderlei Silva, but still, he showed heart, man. He could've coasted his way to the top, but he chose to fight solid competition, and I respect the hell out of that. His first fight was against Frye, his third fight was against Tamura and he fought freakin' Wanderlei Silva in his 4th fight. I have to hand it to the guy, he was tough as hell, and I've never seen a boring Yoshida fight. Even in the Tank fight, Yoshida hit a nice highkick and had a nice guard. The Gardner fight would probably be my least favorite, but I didn't really find it to be boring. Also, Yoshida saying that many think Tank has a, "Scary face" always makes me crack up.
Yoshida also has a solid camp, with guys like Takimoto, Nak and Omigawa. They should get Dong.
My top 5 favorite Yoshida fights.
1. vs Wanderlei (Final Conflict 2003).
This was the fight that made Yoshida. It doesn't even matter that he lost, he still ended up looking great. The guy showed guts, and was game. He's all, "Who does this guy think he is?" and put up a great fight against a total monster. Easily the best fight on that show and a FOTYC for 03.
2. vs Mark Hunt (Critical Countdown 04).
It's Hunt vs Yoshida, of course, it's exciting. Yoshida pretty much went all Nogueira on Hunt, with sub attempt after sub attempt. Hunt tried, but Yoshida was all sub crazy, and I found that to be awesome. Quite awesome.
3. Wanderlei (Total Elimination 05).
I actually scored it for Yoshida on the re-watch. I felt he kept the pressure on Wanderlei and took the fight wherever he wanted to.
4. vs Don Frye (Championship Chaos 2).
Pretty much a dominant victory for Yoshida, as Frye didn't know what to do. This was Yoshida's first MMA fight, and it was against a surly vet, and it was a solid showing.
5. vs Ogawa (Shockwave 2005).
Ogawa was someone I couldn't stand. Seeing him get armbarred again was so awesome. Yoshida's all, "Screw this gi shit, I'll sport shorts and still kick your ass!"
Hell yeah, Yoshida is a badass old dude.