Dream Stage Entertainment has revealed the names of several of the fighters who will be competing on the first Pride show in the United States through a press release that was quietly released on the PR Newswire.
When the event details were first announced for the October 21st event earlier this month, Pride’s English-language web site listed seven fighters as “possible participants,” specifically Fedor Emelianenko, Phil Baroni, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Mark Coleman.
The new press release on the PR Newswire does not use the word “possible” for three specific fighters, as the press release says, “The October 21 card will feature nine bouts, showcasing Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko, Pride 2000 Grand Prix Champion and Olympic wrestler, Mark Coleman — who also happens to be a three-time UFC champion — and ‘The New York Bad Ass’ Phil Baroni.”
The DSE press release also says that Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman, and Hidehiko Yoshida are “expected to step into the ring,” although it does not use the firm language that they will be on the card, as it does with Emelianenko, Baroni, and Coleman.
In order to compete on the October 21st card, Barnett would first need to be re-licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and Yoshida would need to recover from the leg injuries that he suffered in his July 1st fight against Mirko Cro Cop.
It may or may not be worth reading into, but there are three fighters who were originally listed as “possible participants” on the Pride USA web site and were not mentioned in the new press release. Those fighters are Mirko Cro Cop, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Kazuyuki Fujita.
No specific match-ups for the show were announced, and no other details on the participating fighters were made available, but DSE president Nobuyuki Sakakibara was quoted in the press release as saying, “We are thrilled to bring the honored tradition of Pride not only to the U.S., but to Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world. Our fighters are among the toughest on the planet, and this event is sure to showcase not only their extreme athleticism, but also Pride’s ability to awe and entertain.”