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PRIDE 2007 schedule notes

By Zach Arnold | January 1, 2007

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The promotion announced the formation of a Super Heavyweight division (creating a Monster GP tournament).

Schedule of event dates this year: 2/24 Las Vegas (PRIDE 33), 4/8 Saitama Super Arena (PRIDE 34), 4/28 Las Vegas, May (Saitama Super Arena – Lightweight GP), June in Los Angeles at the Staples Center (PRIDE 36), July in Nagoya (PRIDE Lightweight GP), 8/20 in Osaka (PRIDE 37), 9/20 in Tokyo (Lightweight GP finals), 10/20 in Las Vegas, 12/31 TBA.

Names announced for the 2/24 Las Vegas event – Vanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Emelianenko Alexander, Ricardo Arona, Dan Henderson, Kazuyuki Fujita, Takanori Gomi, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Kazuo Misaki, and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “PRIDE 2007 schedule notes”

  1. David says:

    Anyone have any guesses as to how well Pride will draw in LA? I bet they will try to use a famous American fighter to get attention, but I’m not sure who they could use..

  2. The MMA Critic says:

    Pride adding a Super Heavyweight Division? They don’t even have any interesting fights coming up in their Heavyweight Division. What a waste.

  3. JOSH says:

    Apprantly the Super heavyweight division was established because of James Thompson’s performance. Apprently Sakakihabara was super impressed by it (I think to be honest, PRIDE is starting to become concerned about Super HW white guys kicking the crap out of their small HW japanese fighters ie Yoshida and Sakuraba).

    As for LA…eh BOTH UFC shows werent super productive…so who knows. I honestly dont think LA is a great market for MMA shows, becuase they are trying to sell out big arenas like Staples and Arrowhead (which are huge compared to Mandaly and the Alladdin).

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    The focus of the Super HW will be Thompson, Butterbean, etc. A freak show division.

  5. The MMA Critic says:

    That would be like the UFC opening up a Super Heavyweight Division after Tim Sylvia beat Jeff Monson & Brandon Vera. When in reality, Vera should be a Light Heavyweight, and Monson is way too bulky for any division.

    Yoshida is the size of a Light Heavyweight. He should be fighting at Light Heavyweight.

    And you didn’t see them complaining when Nogueira was getting thrown around by Bob Sapp in 2002.

    Lastly, there is no way that randomly one fight makes Pride create an entirely new division. They have thought this through. They love the freak show. Bad for the sport.

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    Lastly, there is no way that randomly one fight makes Pride create an entirely new division.

    Privately, you may be right. Publicly, they used Thompson’s win over Yoshida to save face image-wise by announcing that because of his win, they were going ahead with a Super HW division.

  7. JOSH says:

    Also Bob Sapp wasnt a PRIDE fighter…he was a K-1 fighter. And Nog isnt Japanese.

  8. Zack says:

    I think running LA is a terrible idea. Learn from the UFC and run OC instead.

  9. Armen says:

    Don’t forget Zuluzinho in that freakshow division. Is he still with PRIDE even?

  10. WHITE NINJA says:

    Super Heavywieght? Freakshow? How abvout create a champion belt for ALEXANDER and try to keep the Emelianenko’s in PRIDE

  11. Stu says:

    I’m really excited about the LW GP, all the potential fighters they could have entering is mind blowing.

  12. Ivan Trembow says:

    That was a great victory by James Thompson on Sunday, and I mean that. Now, on a sarcastic note: Bring on Tank Abbott and Butterbean! And don’t forget Sean O’Haire!

  13. mmaguru says:

    man, pride doesn’t have a clue.why do they always announce a bunch of fighters but not the actual fights.that might be fine in japan but thats not how the fight game is promoted in have to sell the fight you cant release your main event 1 week before the fight.they have a ton of talent but damn why cant they hire somebody to show them how to promote in america????

  14. Jordan Breen says:

    Skeptical of Misaki, and whether his opponent wouldn’t be totally worthless if he did in fact fight. Last I heard, Misaki was having some intense headaches and was taking a break from training.

  15. MMA T-Shirts says:

    Pride havent got enough fighters to run that many events.

  16. Stu says:

    “Pride havent got enough fighters to run that many events.”

    With the Bushido roster I think they’ll manage to fill the cards. The big question mark is all the US cards, JJapanese fighters won’t draw a public in the US, and Wanderlei and Fedor can’t be on all the cards.

  17. Mr1000Cent says:

    Pride Super Heavyweight division…:D. Is there any reason to watch the WWE now? Maybe this could mean the idea of my own personal dream match between Kimbo Slice and Giant Silva. The only problem with a division such as the Super Heavyweight is that when those guys get gassed, the first couple of rows in the arena might be at a health risk. Oh, that, and the pace of such a fight would make Tim Sylvia look like Wanderlei Silva. But the whole idea of seeing a Cyclops vs. an Ogre is still cool (maybe Giant Silva can use his club during a match), IMO.

  18. iain says:

    zuluzinhio, bob sapp, thompson, antonio silva, gan mcgee, hong man choi, akebono, giant silva, tim sylvia, semmy schilt, butterbean.

    Who else would figh at shw? This has the potential to be the most hilarious division of all time.

  19. MMA T-Shirts says:

    “With the Bushido roster I think they’ll manage to fill the cards. The big question mark is all the US cards, JJapanese fighters won’t draw a public in the US, and Wanderlei and Fedor can’t be on all the cards.”

    Yep, absolutely… What I meant was to say they dont have enough heavy fighters… or at least enough new ones. You basically have to have about 50% LHW and HW on the cards – I cant really think of many fights we havent seen between the heavier fighters in their rosters.

    p.s. to Mr1000Cent, Kimbo is only 260 so he’d need to bulk up for SHW ;)

  20. Mr1000Cent says:

    Well, IMO, that wouldn’t be a problem, I mean, if James Toney can put on extra weight (maybe even enough to fight in the Pride Super Heavyweight division), then anyone can. Heck, if Pride gets Akebono to fight Henry Miller, it would be like watching a “full contact Sumo” match, if you will :D .

  21. David says:

    Pride should do whatever they can to try to sign Kurt Angle, who I believe is the only unsigned fighter (I dont follow pro wrestling so I dont know his deal with tna) who could draw in America.

  22. I’m surprised at the dates they chose. 2 events in April? It will be interesting to see them try to spread their roster across these two events without giving one the shaft.

  23. grafdog says:

    They will not be signing akebono.

    With the huge talent in Pride’s lw division, the 16 man lw tourney will be earthshaking with great storylines.
    The 185 division is a shambles after the last ill advised tourney, it needs a whole new concept.
    Wandy is beatable and really can’t be protected anymore. He’ll most likely lose to one of… minotauro/arona/overeem later this year giving shogun a chance to start a new chapter in 08.
    The hw division has lost all of its tension having lost Fedor’s rival.

    So pride needs to restock some hw’s …. 1 killer Croat, 1 token black man from the ghetto, 1 past his prime (but still hungry) american wrestler and his lil broni. And that “Igor guy”.

  24. JThue says:

    Is really no one aware that Mark Hunt is SHW?!?!?!

    - Hunt
    - Thompson
    - Butterbean
    - sign Ricco Rodriguez
    - sign Giant Silva back, at least for short term
    - Waterman
    - Cabbage?
    - Broughton?
    - bring Silva from Showtime in a year or so
    - sign Sapp
    - sign Choi

    Off the top of my head – and there’s a ton of names out there I’m not aware of. There’s SHW talent enough around for at least one promotion to have a serious SHW division. It’s just a matter of getting it started first and not be left with the freaks. PRIDE going ahead with it shows they’re aware of this opening and won’t miss the boat like they did with their US launch.

  25. JThue says:

    “ Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    I’m surprised at the dates they chose. 2 events in April? It will be interesting to see them try to spread their roster across these two events without giving one the shaft.”

    … Eh, they’ve only been doing this for the past three years now.


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