After we waited and waited for the announcement the day has finally come. Today at a joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan UFC and PRIDE have announced the biggest acquisition in MMA history. Dream Stage Entertainment and PRIDE President and CEO Nobuyuki Sakaibara will relinquish control of the organization on April 8th after PRIDE 34. It will be run by a new entity entitled Pride FC Worldwide Holdings LLC.
The final sale price was “less than $70 million” which is pretty darn cheap for what the UFC is getting. Here’s part of a report from the Associated Press:
“We have been talking to Pride for probably about 11 months,” Lorenzo Fertitta said. “It’s been a long, drawn out process but we finally we were able to put the two brands together.”
To buy the company, the brothers created a new entity called Pride FC Worldwide Holdings LLC. The newly formed company will take over Pride assets, including its trademarks, video library and valuable roster of fighters, from Dream Stage. The Fertitta brothers, who own Las Vegas-based Zuffa LLC, the parent company of UFC, intend to keep the well-known Pride name and promote fights under that brand.
It is expected that the fighters in Pride will stay largely the same with major “supershows” pitting top fighters from both organizations against one another happening throughout the year. Possible “super” matchups mentioned include Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture, Takanori Gomi vs. Georges St. Pierre, Dan Henderson vs. Anderson Silva, and Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva according to Sherdog.com.
The first UFC vs. PRIDE matchup was announed for PRIDE 34 between Jeff Monson (UFC) and Kazuyuki Fujita (PRIDE).
More news will probably be coming out over the next few days regarding the immediate future for both organizations but for now sit back and relax knowing the2 biggest MMA promotions in the world have now been united.