Event: Pride 15 7/29/2001
Winning Move: Rear Naked Choke
Rampage (Jackson) entered Pride 15 on an eight-fight winning streak but no one in Japan knew much about him because he'd never fought outside the States. Sakuraba was the most famous Japanese fighter at the time but in his last match he got the dignity beaten out of him by Wanderlei Silva. Both guys needed this victory. Jackson repeatedly power-slammed Sakuraba and escaped a few submission attempts. Sakuraba, whose bones are made of high-density iron ore, weathered the storm. He ultimately got the bigger man down and locked in that choke. Great match. Even though Rampage took the loss, it raised his stock to legit contender.