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September 5, 2005 Observer Newsletter: Pride Final Conflict recap, Chris Jericho announces WWE departure


Pride Final Conflict was a rare night where, going in, you knew history was going to be made. You just didn't know what the history lesson would be.

When it was over, the lesson was, Mirko Cro Cop may have been one of the toughest men ever to fight in under these rules, but it did no good because once again, his opponent appeared to be more machine than human.

In the biggest heavyweight fight in MMA history, Fedor Emelianenko solidified his now undisputed standing as the best heavyweight MMA fighter in history by keeping what has to be considered the legitimate world heavyweight championship in the sport, by scoring a fairly dominant victory over his toughest adversary. The Saitama Super Arena crowd, announced at 47,629 fans, an inflated number in a building that legitimately holds 35,000 and was sold out, was buzzing for this fight before it happened, like few fights in history. 

There have been many bigger mainstream matches in Japan, but none had the intensity among the hardcore ticket buying public inside an arena that didn't involve a Japanese fighter in history.

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