Cro Cop's first Pride opponents were Wanderlei, Sakuraba, Fujita, Heath Herring and Vovchanchyn.
Fedor's first Pride opponents were Schilt, Herring and Nogueira.
Hendo, Mezger and Sakuraba were among Wanderlei's first Pride wins.
You could say that all 3 got a showcase fight every now and then, but Cro Cop for example was fighting 6 times per year at one point. I would rather see him vs 5 good HW with a showcase fight against Minowa somewhere in there, than get just one or two fights per year from Cain Velasquez, or Anthony Pettis like we see in the UFC.
I think that's a bigger issue for the UFC then lack of padded records.
Cain and Pettis are always injured.
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