UFC‘s parent company, Zuffa LLC, has bought its MMA rivals, Pride Fighting Championships of Japan from Dream Stage Entertainment. Associated Press reports that the purchase was worth just under $70 million.
With this purchase UFC now dominates the field in mixed martial arts. But what will this mean for UFC fans? Maybe not as much as you’d think.
UFC and Pride will not be merging, and will continue as separate companies; however, Dana White, UFC president, says that this could mean an annual “Super Bowl” type show of mixed martial arts as the two rivals pit their best fighters against each other. White says that the deal will allow the organization to pit a UFC champ in any weight class against the equivalent Pride fighter.
“The best will fight the best,” said White. “We could do one super fight in both the U.S. and Japan … we’ll have to see. Right now, I don’t know who’s going to fight who, but it’s always going to be a great competition. We’ve dreamed about this for a long time, and now it’ll happen.”
Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver, former UFC lightweight champ and coach of the upcoming Ulitmate Fighter 5, says “I think it’s beautiful,” adding “We need to have some kind of Pro Bowl.”
Pride fighter Denis Kang says “You can compare it to WWE, Raw versus Smackdown, it’s going to be team versus team. It adds an extra edge to the competition, makes it a little bit more interesting.”
“Pride is going to stay Pride. UFC will stay UFC,” said White. “The only difference is now everybody’s going to get to see the fights they’ve wanted to see for years now, the big mega-fights.”
How soon could this happen? Quickly, says White; possibly even by the end of this year.
-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: LA Times, CP
Staff Columnist, BuddyTV