Japanese newspapers reported today in Tokyo, Japan that the UFC has bought
Pride. Rumors of the sale have been circulating for a while, but the deal now
appears to be done. One of the newspapers in Japan, SportsHochi,
reported that Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who own UFC parent company Zuffa LLC,
will start a new company, thus disbanding Dream Stage Entertainment, the parent
company of Pride. DSE/Pride President Nobuyuki Sakikabara, who brought Pride
to the United States and was successful in making the Pride brand one of the
most compelling MMA promotions in the world, is reportedly resigning from his
new company that will operate Pride apparently won’t be run directly by UFC or
Zuffa, but will be its own entity owned by the Fertittas, so that Pride and the
UFC will operate separately. It is also being reported that the two promotions
will hold a joint super show once per year. SportsHochi
reports that Pride 34 on April 8th will be the last Pride show run by DSE.
will Pride be a Japanese or a United States promotion? Apparently, Pride looks
to continue to do shows in both Japan and the United States. Intentions are to
still have the Lightweight Grand Prix starting in May, with the GP consisting
of three shows, all taking place in Japan. The annual New Year’s Eve show is
still in the plans to take place in Japan. There are also plans to do 2-3 more
shows in the United States this year.
will be a press conference held in Tokyo, Japan at the Roppongi Hills Arena on
Tuesday, March 27th, which will be open to the press and fans alike.