Apparently, following through on Dana's claims about leaving Pride autonomous, but developing a standing talent exchange and cross-promotional cards.
I think this is the best MMA news I've ever heard. Pride's been floundering under godawful management for years, and I think Dana and the Fertittas have shown business acumen enough to make this work. I cannot wait for the first UFC vs. Pride card.
The next few months, at the least, are going to prove extremely interesting.
No contract has been signed, so we will see. You never know with Pride, it is a strangely run organization. I wonder if Zuffa will be able to get a TV deal in Japan or if they will have to just run PPVs.
This should really shake up the divisions. Watch out Randy, your competition just got a whole lot stiffer(Barnett, Nog, and of course Fedor).
We might see a Super HW division (or maybe Ratner can get the NSAC to stop the stupid 265 limit).
Chuck will now have to deal with Wanderlei, Shogun and Arona.
BJ Penn will be quite busy after winning the LW title.
Paulo Filho, Denis Kang! Watch out MWs.
I;m not sure if this is a good thing. For those of us who watch Pride, I think it is not so good, but for those MMA=UFC fans, it will be an eye opener to a new diversity of talent.
Anyway, Pride are such idiots. They were doing great until the whole Yakuza deal went down. If this goes down, who will be champs at the beginning of 08?
HW: Fedor (unless they don't give him a shot early enough) LHW Shogun Rua (Chuck beats Wandy, Shogun beats Chuck) MW: A. Silva WW: GSP LW: BJ Penn
Depends where the fights take place. If Chuck fights Wandy in Japan under Pride rules, then Wandy can use his stomps. Without the soccer kicks and stomps, Wandy is just like most other good fighters. With them, he still stands a chance at beating Chuck in a bad way. Let the hating begin... but you know it's true. (and I'm not a Wandy fan)
Well, the press conference came and went, and it's official: Pride is now under the Zuffa umbrella. Sakakibara has stepped down, Takada will maintain his position, and Pride will in fact be run separately from the UFC and WEC, with potential for super-bowl-style events. The very first official UFC vs. Pride match has been announced for Pride 34, and it is...
...Jeff Monson vs. Kazuyuki Fujita. It's a start, anyway.
I'd keep the belts running (but make the weight classes uniformed) until they run their first super show where one belt would be unified. Randy Couture (UFC Champ) v.s Fedor (Pride Champ)would determine the WORLD champ, but the lose would still maintain the championship belt for either the UFC or Pride. Then keep running super shows until there is one world champ for each weight class. But there would still be a problem of too many PPV's and the time zone issue. Those are going to be hard to solve.
In lieu of multiple supershows, they would always do one mega-huge Super Bowl/Wrestlemania of MMA every two years that has all five champs in each division facing each other. They could also copy golf's Ryder Cup, by making a 'team' from each promotion and having the fighters square off against each other.
I don't know what is more disquieting -- the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes.