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Pancrase: The Forgotten Organization

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by Glove, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. Glove Black Belt

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    The second oldest MMA organization in the world, Pancrase was founded in January 1993 by former All Japan Pro Wrestlers, Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Suzaki and Takaku Fuke. Pancrase would be based on pure shoot-style wrestling with limited gimmicks. The inspiration to create Pancrase came from an earlier mixed combat bout between Muhammad Ali (boxer) and Antonio Inoki (wrestler) in 1976.The very first King of Pucrases would later find success in numerous MMA orgaznaition like the UFC and Pride, Ken Wayne Shamrock. The hybrid based orgaznaitijn would also begin the careers of other notable MMA and even K-1 fighters such as Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock, Semmy Schilt, Chris Lytle, Jason DeLucia, Kazuo Miskai, Yuki Kondo, Guy Mezger, Nathan Marquradt and Josh Barnett. Pancrase still holds events to the current day. Do we have any people that followed or current still follow Pancrase today? Plisse feel free to relate your thoughts here. One fight i particular i remember was Bas Rutten vs Masakatsu Funaki held on September 7, 1996 in which Rutten defended the King of Pancrase in brutal fashion. Funaki is also one of the most skilled grapplers i have ever seen in NHB/MMA history.

     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
  2. RedDawn Orange Belt

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    Pancrase was founded in 1993.

    Shooto is older.
     
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  3. Glove Black Belt

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    Thank you for the corrections. I had forgotten about Shooto.
     
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  4. David Street Use skills

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    Shooto is all but dead since they signed to be feeder to One Championship. Pancrease just holding on. Deep/Jewels focused on new fighters untested ones, they need to raise them slowly but they are rushing them.
     
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  5. manboy<3 Pathetic hater,MEGA shill

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    The original Pancrase ruleset was very suitable for low damage technical MMA and thus is the perfect ruleset for a "LEGENDS" organization for older fighters and pretty females.

    No closed fist strikes means that brain damage and quick knockouts are avoided, allowing old fighters who are 40 or older to compete. No gloves means that skilled grappling exchanges can take place, also allowing for unorthodox movements.

    On the other hand, the rope escapes both encourage high risk grappling and level the playing field for strikers.

    I have no idea why 40+ year old LEGENDS like Fedor, Ken Shamrock etc keep on fighting under full MMA rules and getting knocked out in the first minute, they should instead fight under original Pancrase rules which save fighters from brain damage and allow for displays of interesting techinical ability which older fighters have in spades.
     
  6. David Street Use skills

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    Deep has been focused also on micoweights as no one will steal them from them, seems all Deep fighters have been going to Rizin FF. Deep does have a new super heavyweight who just goes by one name, Saint, he seems to be from USA black guy who has come out of nowhere and they are promoting. Deep Jewels needs to go back to working with Invicta FC.

    Shooto has a card coming up Sept 20 2021 has Lightweight Yamoto Nishikawa 14-3 dude is only 18. will be fighting Yuki Kawana 16-6-5 a worth watching fight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
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  7. leto1776 Sherdog Wet Shaver Platinum Member

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    Jewels working with Invicta helped lead to the organization folding and selling to DEEP, creating DEEP JEWELS. Jewels sent some of their most popular fighters over to Invicta, which mean they weren’t available to fight in Jewels for long periods of time. Lead to decreased ticket sales. Meanwhile, Jewels never got any Invicta fighters as part of the exchange.

    Moral of the story: co-promotion/fighter exchange programs always end up being one sided
     
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  8. David Street Use skills

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    This is true and we can see it in Shooto's deal with One. Shooto barely hanging on but the deal will end soon and I hope Shooto will get out of it.
     
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  9. Doctor Grudge Green Belt

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    Was Pancrase a shoot from the start, or was it Pro Wrestling and at one point it switched over into proto-MMA?
     
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  10. Doctor Grudge Green Belt

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    This is actually not too crazy. Certainly a more interesting alternative than Bare Knuckle stuff.

    Could be a cool sport in its own right.
     
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  11. TheMaster Take The Road To Reality Double Yellow Card

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    It evolved from shoot-style pro wrestling and has had some works.

    This is why it's not popular here. Maybe in Japan it could still be big but it really appeals as a kind of intermediate between pro wrestling and full mma.

    Plus here we just have pure grappling like adcc and full mma so it doesnt have a niche.
     
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  12. Glove Black Belt

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    According to Guy Mezger, "There was not very many works. Maybe 4 or 5 total and most of them were before I was fighting for them. I hate when people say that there was [sic] so many works in Pancrase, they truly do not know what they are talking about"

    https://web.archive.org/web/20011231041330/http://sfuk.tripod.com/interviews_01/mezger_1.html
     
  13. Doctor Grudge Green Belt

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    Thats not really the reason. The version of Pancrase we are talking about (90s) was never brought over to USA, so that's why it wasn't popular in USA.

    But for perspective, at the time, the UFC was not popular in USA either.
     
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  14. Mbetz1981 Blue Belt

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    We have been starting to touch on the subject within the Kakutogi Road columns, but to answer it here, there were very few full-blown works in Pancrase. Three that I can think of off the top of my head (Suzuki/Funaki, Suzuki/Shamrock, Shamrock/Hume) however, there were quite a few matches in the early days that wouldn't qualify as either a work or a shoot. The best way to describe it would be "hard gym-sparring." Fights where it wasn't faked, but both guys aren't really trying to completely tear into each other like a modern MMA fight. There were also some issues where there was enough of a skill disparity that some guys would try and drag the match out a little longer to give the fans more of a show. Also, a lot of these guys had to fight every month, so it made sense that they would have a gentleman's agreement not hit each other on the ground (strikes were legal on the ground in Pancrase, but most of the natives avoided this, at least until the last min or so of the match)..

    Overall, a lot of the talk over the years on message boards about how fake Pancrase is has been overblown, even if some of those early fights were closer to a gym sparring session than modern MMA. The win/loss records would not have changed in those situations. On the other hand, rope escapes have been crucial to some guys having strong records. Bas Rutten would have a terrible record without rope escapes, as he would usually get caught in a submission early in the fight, and grab an escape, before eventually winning the fight. Valentijn Overeem and GIlbert Yvel are another two that won a lot of fights because they relied on rope escapes before murking their opponents from the stand-up.
     
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  15. Mbetz1981 Blue Belt

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    The closest thing we had was the Texas based USWF which had Pancrase rules, but you were only allowed one rope escape. Also, I don't think they allowed any kind of closed fist punches, whereas in Pancrase closed fists were allowed to the body.
     
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  16. Doctor Grudge Green Belt

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    Yeah, I follow a decent amount of niche pro wrestling and can't say I know much of any worked fights in Pancrase. Rings, BattleARTS, UWF-I sure, Pancrase? Not really, those three matches you listed were pretty much the first ones I actually heard.

    i actually wish there were a few pro wrestling style matches cause the rules are cool, and they have some great talent.
     
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  17. TRYHARD 2001 Silver Belt

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    The rules definitely varied quite a bit from show to show back in the day too. From no GnP, to GnP to the body only, to open-handed GnP to the face and back again as the years went on. It had some really skilled guys putting on a show way back when. Very different from the MMA we've had for the past couple decades or so, but very entertaining in its own right.
     
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  18. Glove Black Belt

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    This might have been "testing the waters" in regards to what was allowed and what was generally more entertaining to the crowd. For instance, submission grappling or shoot wrestling would fare quite well in Japan and in South America as the crowd remains silent, but in the United States, it would it be "unacknowledged" and the occasional displeasure from the crowd would be notable. We still have people that show their displeasure for grappling in 2021.
     
  19. Mbetz1981 Blue Belt

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    I have quite a bit of the old USWF in my collection. In one of my tapes I'm pretty sure I saw Guy Mezger defeat Evan Tanner in an event that isn't even listed on Sherdog (USWF 2 or maybe 3?). It is some really lousy handheld footage where the camera man seemed more interested in filming the rowdy crowd around him than the actual fights half the time.
     
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  20. MitsuyoshiOhara Yellow Belt

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    I remember reading a rumor two or three years back that Pancrase was planning an event with the old ruleset and I was extremely disappointed when that didn't pan out.

    I think there's definitely a place for that kind of style still and as much as I enjoyed Ganryujima while it was around, I would have much preferred a new age Pancrase over that.
     
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