PRIDE is DEAD

abudabit

New Wackbag
#1
Since Zuffa, LLC announced the purchase of PRIDE Fighting Championships March 27, the future of the Japan-based promotion has gone from question mark to headstone. According to reports in Japan, the PRIDE FC Worldwide offices in Tokyo, Japan were closed and all employees dismissed Thursday.

Employees were reportedly called together for a meeting, as PRIDE FC Worldwide President Jamie Pollack announced, via an international phone call, they were all discharged from their duties. The estimated 20 employees were kept on the payroll for more than six months despite the fact the company did not run any events.

The latest development brings about a number of questions from bewildered employees, the press and the general public in regard to PRIDE, Zuffa’s plans and the future of mixed martial arts in Japan.

Reaction to the shutdown was met with anger and resentment by Keiichi Sasahara, a public relations representative for Dream Stage Entertainment, PRIDE’s former parent company.

“I resent having been suddenly betrayed by the American leaders of the people/organization we supported," Sasahara said. “We believed Lorenzo [Fertitta’s] words of restoring PRIDE, and we told that same story to the fans that inquired. And for it to suddenly come to this, it really is regrettable.”

Capitalizing on what transpired over the past six months – along with this week’s apparent end to PRIDE’s 10-year legacy – many other organizations have been making attempts to lure the PRIDE fan base and, with it, the Japanese market over which the now-defunct organization held dominion.

Zuffa’s Ultimate Fighting Championship has already signed numerous champions from the PRIDE ranks, including Wanderlei Silva, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. IN an attempt to keep up, K-1’s HERO’S has inked Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba, Alistair Overeem, Dong Sik Yoon and Sergei Kharitonov, among others. The battle over PRIDE’s elite fighters rages on, as many wonder where two of the biggest holdouts – PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko (26-1) PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi (27-3) and – will land. In Japan, many MMA organizations have increased sales efforts, improved their production values and upped the level of fighters competing, all in an effort to try and fill the void left by PRIDE. Feeling the need to branch out, promotions like HERO’S, Shooto, DEEP and Smackgirl have held events in the United States, South Korea and Australia. However, only HERO’S seems to have deep enough pockets to produce a show rivaling PRIDE.

It appears to be a two-horse race – between the UFC and HERO’S – to fill PRIDE’s shoes. Sadaharu Tanigawa, the president of K-1’s parent company Fight Entertainment Group, has said both Emelianenko and Gomi are expensive and joked that he would have to beg sponsors in order to sign them. K-1’s long history in Japan, along with its proximity to the fan base, gives it a head start in the local market. However, with the success the UFC has enjoyed this year, the promotion will almost certainly continue to unveil its plan for global MMA domination.

Whichever promotion fills PRIDE’s void, the impact of production values cannot be overlooked. PRIDE events were amazing spectacles from start to finish; the smoke, lasers and fireworks were unparalleled in the industry. Shows were story driven, as music and videos were used to incite emotions. Highly visual Japanese fans consider Daisuke Sato – the man behind the theatrics and much of PRIDE’s feel – one of the most important factors in making the organization what it was in the eyes of fans.
UFC bought PRIDE, stripped it of some talent, and then killed it. :arrrh: I'm not even a heavy follower of PRIDE and this pisses me off. They intentionally killed the most popular promotion in MMA. Fucking asshat move.
 

niklbag

Hooked on chronic worked for me!!!!!
#2
i watched a pride event on PPV once. it was the worst over produced peice of shit i have ever seen. it was an hour of music and dancing before anyone even threw a punch. i say good riddence. UFC is much better and more exciting in my opinion. yeah the slants got betrayed but MMA will be better off because of it.
 

mik3

fornicating madly
#4
i watched a pride event on PPV once. it was the worst over produced peice of shit i have ever seen. it was an hour of music and dancing before anyone even threw a punch. i say good riddence. UFC is much better and more exciting in my opinion. yeah the slants got betrayed but MMA will be better off because of it.
Maybe I'm a homer 'cause I was long a fan of PRIDE but I always felt PRIDE fights were way more exciting. You learned to deal with the BS and the horrible direction of the shows(hey, ground and pound in the ring, lets show the crowd!), but it was ok due to the fighting.
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
#5
They had much better fighters than UFC. Also I liked some of thier rules better than UFC. Overall I was more into UFC, it just sucks that an organization with such a fan base just gets shut down like that in the name of anti-competitiveness.
 
#6
someone in Japan will fill the void. K1 heroes maybe, but probably a new organization. hopefully one without ties to the yakuza so they can keep their fucking tv contract.

its not in the fight game's nature to have one organization or one promoter dominating for long. it will always be splintered.
 

Capt.Caveman

Totally unlikeable
#7
Maybe I'm a homer 'cause I was long a fan of PRIDE but I always felt PRIDE fights were way more exciting. You learned to deal with the BS and the horrible direction of the shows(hey, ground and pound in the ring, lets show the crowd!), but it was ok due to the fighting.
yea the showing the crowd shit annoyed me too. I totally disagree with eliminating pride. I thought they'd have wec and keep pride so they can bring along young talent and keep some aging former stars. Get the most bang for your buck.I'm a homer for UFC but pride has some tough mother fuckers in there too. I was hoiping for the mma super bowl but it looks like that will never happen
 

filthgrinder

Registered User
#8
They had much better fighters than UFC.
Really? Is that why Pride fighters haven't rolled over UFC fighters? Is it the transition to the cage, the rule changes, or maybe they weren't better after all. I think from what we've seen of PRide fighters moving over to the UFC, they weren't leaps and bounds better.

I also think you really can't blame the UFC on this one. After they bought Pride, they realized it was just a tar baby mess. Fighter contracts weren't transferable over to the new owners. Other dealings were pretty shadow and not desirable. UFC just chosing the organization and walking away with the tape library was probably the best thing in the end.
 
#9
Really? Is that why Pride fighters haven't rolled over UFC fighters? Is it the transition to the cage, the rule changes, or maybe they weren't better after all. I think from what we've seen of PRide fighters moving over to the UFC, they weren't leaps and bounds better.

I also think you really can't blame the UFC on this one. After they bought Pride, they realized it was just a tar baby mess. Fighter contracts weren't transferable over to the new owners. Other dealings were pretty shadow and not desirable. UFC just chosing the organization and walking away with the tape library was probably the best thing in the end.
please lets not do this again. cro cop, shogun lost miserably thus far. meanwhile rampage and anderson silva are champs they get their asses beat in pride badly. it goes both ways.

and all around it was a year of upsets. the top guys from both orgs were suffering from big defeats
 
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