UFC purchases PRIDE
According to today’s episode of Sherdog’s The Savage Dog Show/BeatDown, UFC majority owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta have purchased the Japenese-based PRIDE Fighting Championships for a startling-low price of $65 million. (You can find a heated discussion on the Sherdog Forums.)
The show is relying an anonymous source that is said to be “very reliable,” and an official announcement is expected to come on Wednesday.
PRIDE, the UFC’s biggest competitor and perhaps the world’s most recognizable MMA organization, has reportedly suffered a variety of hardships during the past year. Rumors of its potential sale have circulated constantly in the past couple months, with current PRIDE USA Vice President Ed Fishman and the Zuffa LLC-owned UFC emerging as the two most-likely suitors.
The fact that the Fertittas, not Zuffa, are the rumored buyers is surprising at first take. Surely there’s more to the story, but we’ll have to wait.
PRIDE has publicly stated — numerous times — that the organization wasn’t for sale despite the reports saying otherwise. Today’s rumors would obviously hint otherwise.
So what would this mean for the UFC?
It’s hard to say without knowing the particulars. But of most importance would be the UFC’s access to PRIDE’s thoroughly impressive list of international fighters. The purchase could open the door for cross-promotion superfights that could destroy previous records for gates, attendance and pay-per-view revenue.