by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
The incoming Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission has commented on newspaper reports about Pride’s plans to expand into the U.S. market this fall.
Keith Kizer, who is set to replace Marc Ratner as the new Executive Director of the NSAC when Ratner leaves this weekend to work for the UFC, was asked by MMAWeekly last week about a recent report in the Las Vegas Sun.
The report said that Pride was looking into running a show in Nevada in October. Kizer told MMAWeekly that Pride “plans to hold an event at the Thomas & Mack Center in October 2006, but we have not received a date request yet.” (Note: In the time since this interview was conducted, Pride has requested the specific date of Saturday, October 21st.)
When asked by MMAWeekly whether the Yakuza scandal that is currently engulfing the MMA industry in Japan would have any negative affect on Pride’s efforts to run a show in Nevada, Kizer said, “Pride is a promoter in good standing, and I have no concern about its suitability.”
Currently the Chief Deputy Attorney General of the state of Nevada, Kizer is set to become the new head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission when Marc Ratner starts his new job as a UFC executive later this month. Ratner has been the Executive Director of the NSAC since August 1993.
In other news regarding Pride’s plans to run shows in the United States market, the Wrestling Observer has reported that Pride is planning to focus a large part of its marketing efforts for its first U.S. show on Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, and Quinton Jackson.
That would seem to be logical given that Henderson and Jackson are each highly marketable American fighters, while Emelianenko is widely regarded as the most dominant fighter in the sport.
Jackson may or may not be with Pride at that time. Many promotions are seeking Jackson’s services, including the WFA, and many insiders believe that the deal has already been signed between Jackson and the WFA.