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Japanese media reaction to PRIDE event

By Zach Arnold | October 22, 2006

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Now fully updated.

Plus quick transcribing/notes from the post-show press conference.

Which match would you rather see in PRIDE on New Year’s Eve?
Fedor vs. Barnett
Fedor vs. Cro Cop
Fedor vs. Nogueira
Fedor vs. Shogun
Free polls from

  1. Sankei Sports: The first US show a success… Tyson cancels!

    Summary: Mike Tyson didn’t appear at the Las Vegas show (management did). Sakakibara told reporters that Tyson’s daughter had a sudden operation in Washington, and that plans for Tyson fighting in Macau on New Year’s Eve are set. Sakakibara stated that PRIDE intends on holding 4-5 US events in 2007.

  2. Sports Nippon: A local hero! Fedor controls in America

    Summary: The best fighter in the world made his appeal known in the United States in his first match. Though Mike Tyson didn’t show, Fedor led the first PRIDE American show to success. When Fedor appeared on the stage, he received a standing ovation from 10,000 fans. There was a “Fedor call” from the fans. A strong impact was done in America. Coleman’s face was destroyed with surprising swiftness. The next show is on February 24th in Las Vegas. For PRIDE’s New Year’s Eve show, Josh Barnett has surfaced as the next challenger for Fedor.

    Tyson canceled after all

    The participation of Mike Tyson for PRIDE on New Year’s Eve in Macau became strong. Two managers of Tyson appeared at the Las Vegas show. Sakakibara said with a wry smile, “He left to go to Washington because his daughter had an operation.”

  3. Nikkan Sports: Vegas excitement! First advancement big success

    Summary: The world debut of PRIDE’s impact was accomplished. Fedor’s fist of ice overwhelmed Mark Coleman. The confrontation against the top promotion, UFC, surfaced. In kakutougi, UFC is the biggest league in the United States. However, the popularity of PRIDE was higher than expected. Everyone stood up when Fedor made his entrance. There were over 300 staff members on hand for the show. The second event is booked for February 24th. Silva challenged Chuck Liddell. PRIDE is expected to issue a formal challenge to UFC on Monday.

    China is next for PRIDE! New Year’s Eve set in Macau

    The Chinese advancement of PRIDE became definite. “The market of 1.4 billion people is attractive.” The Macau Dome, which seats 10,000, is reserved. Simultaneous shows at Saitama Super Arena and the Macau Dome are set. In addition, PRIDE plans to run a show in Beijing next Summer. Beijing politicians were invited to the Las Vegas PRIDE show. PRIDE is not on Chinese TV, but the internet live show relay is shown now. It can be seen all over the world. Negotiations are being continued with a TV station. The Chinese advancement is started and recruitment of local fighters is aimed.

  4. Daily Sports: Big success! PRIDE’s real world invasion

    PRIDE became the “world standard.” After Fuji TV withdrew from PRIDE in June, the Las Vegas show and first overseas PRIDE show succeeded with a super-crowded audience of 12,000 people. PRIDE aims to run 4-5 shows in the Western US in 2007. In addition, Holland and South Korea are new candidate sites for future shows.

Sherdog has video of the PRIDE Las Vegas post-show press conference. Some quick notes from the video (combination of paraphrasing and quoting):

  1. Jerry Millen asked *the media* to give Dream Stage Entertainment an applause.
  2. A director for the Thomas & Mack Center made some unintentionally funny remarks. “The long await is over. PRIDE has landed in the US … extremely excited to be the host. Tonight is a huge victory – not only for our venue, but our city and our country. We’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity. … Introduced to PRIDE in 2002, 2006 (last year) in May attended at the Osaka Dome, and that day I realized this event needed to be at T & M in Vegas. I want to congratulate the PRIDE team (Nobu Saku-bera).”
  3. Ed Fishman (PRIDE USA President) then addressed the media. He said that they were doing this media briefing after the post-show party. He said he had a drinking session with two men. “What I call vodka, they call gasoline.” I arrived in Las Vegas in 1973 and have produced many TV shows, concerts, and I believe we have some of the best entertainment in the world here in Vegas. It’s very hard to bring some entertainment to Las Vegas that can match the standards of production values for Las Vegas. That’s why 40 million people come to Vegas. Thanks to Nobu and Dream Stage and the best athletes in the world, a new standard that is going to be great for Las Vegas and bring a lot of new visitors from around the world. I have never been involved in MMA. I saw it 3 1/2 years ago in Tokyo, I saw unbelievable production at the Tokyo Dome. To work with such great people at Dream Stage and meet great athletes has been my pleasure. I thank them all for coming. This is the first of only many shows in Las Vegas.”
  4. Nobuyuki Sakakibara then addressed the media. “Thank you for everything. I can not speak English very good but please understand my English. I am very proud to call our fighter and staff, of course American staff, very very proud of our team. Thank you. To create a future, please help us. Thank you everybody.”
  5. The video ended with a hilarious translation by Fedor’s Russian translator in regards to a media question. “If Fedor could pick any heavyweight to fight in the world, who would it be?” The answer (via the translator)? “I have already made my choice. I’ve already picked him. It would be George Barnett. (laughs) Today we are going to compete drinking vodka.”

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 12 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

12 Responses to “Japanese media reaction to PRIDE event”

  1. JThue says:

    Fedor’s translator stumbled a bit all weekend, but was so cute I barely noticed.

  2. JOSH says:

    U know first I was upset that Fedor may fight Barnett on NYE but then I thouyght hey that just means Fedor/Mirko in US!!!!! Oh and Silva/Liddell is NEVER going to happen…sorry truth hurts.

  3. MMA T-Shirts says:

    Re the poll at the top, I’m with everyone else – I’d like to see Fedor vs Cro Cop followed by Shogun.

    And yeah, his interpreter was pretty nice.

    Also, this isnt related but….
    FAO Erin – your name links to not .net.

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks T-Shirts, I must have been spacing out when I typed it in. 🙂

    I would vote for Fedor vs. Cro Cop but due to Mirko’s injuries I dunno if it would be in his best interest to fight so soon, so I went with Barnett.

  5. JEFF from Fresno says:

    Remember this poll is pretty much only voted by American hardcore MMA fans, not the casual or hardcore Japanese fans (which really matters for NYE).

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    Poor Nogueira. Only 1 vote.

  7. JOSH says:

    well c’mon Zach wold u really want to see another Nog beating. I think it would be more poor Nog if he had to fight Fedor again!

  8. PizzaChef says:

    Has to be Josh. I only want to see a 100% CroCop fight Fedor…

    Shogun would be nice if it’s in Japan but…Don’t know if he can do much against Fedor, although if he landed a stomp on Fedor it would be a historic moment.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    I hope it’s not Fedor-Shogun. That would be the equivalent of the UFC pitting its top heavyweight against its top light heavyweight just to draw one big live gate. Yes, it would do big business in the short term, but it makes no business sense.

    I’m looing forward to seeing Fedor vs. George Barnett! lol

  10. JThue says:

    I voted Nog. Barnett should be rested and Mirko can’t fight on NYE. Shogun should not be put in that situation, simple as that.

  11. monkeymatt says:

    For some reason, none of those choices inspire me.

    Cro Cop – not until he is fully healed.

    Barnett – too messed up from too many fights and needs a break.

    Noguiera – Fedor is his kryptonite. Fedor is too slippery, too relaxed, too strong for him. Do we really want to see fight no.4? Well, maybe…

    Shogun? Where the hell did this come from? Kind of a freakshow fight, might be interesting. Like McDonalds… Seems like a great idea, tastes good, but you feel sick afterwards (just like you knew you would.)

    What about Hunt? He’d probably get subbed but it would be good…
    How about a Fujita rematch…
    Aleksander would be good but you know he is just fedor v.0.5
    I’ve always wanted to see Fedor vs. Kharitonov despite his recent string of bad luck…

  12. k from berlin says:

    since shogun is the future, it might be a test for fedor.
    question: could it be that vanderlei lost his first match against arona, in order not to face shogun in the final of the tournament? that was my impression.


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