Genichiro Tenryu v Tatsuo Nakano (WAR, 5/26/96) - GREAT
What an insanely fun five minutes. In a lot of ways it probably went how you thought it would. Nakano is clearly in way over his head, but he's a capable striker, has a submission game, and perhaps most importantly he's willing to engage in any slugfest you put in front of him. Tenryu is one of the most giving top guys in history and he usually manages to do it without compromising his status, so if nothing else you figure this would work stylistically. And I mean, obviously he'll slugfest with anyone. Tenryu's selling for Nakano's strikes was pretty amazing, how he'd get rocked and make those knockdowns feel important. Nakano probably never had a chance of actually winning, but Tenryu at least made it look like the miracle could happen. He'd hit back with the sumo slaps and I'm utterly astounded that Nakano's nose never exploded across his face for a change. I'm not sure who Tenryu started shit talking in the crowd - maybe Takada? - but whoever it was gave Nakano enough of an opening to kick Tenryu in the head some more. Tenryu scoring the win with leg kicks and a half crab was a pretty great fuck you to them UWF boys, too.
Complete & Accurate Tenryu