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Meltzer: Sakakibara tells PRIDE staff the company is sold

By Zach Arnold | March 22, 2007

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Report here:

–Nobuyuki Sakakibara yesterday told several members of the U.S. Pride staff that the company is in the proces of being sold to Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta. He said the agreement in principal is done but there are still some minor points to be worked out and the contract is not signed. Sakakibara said he would be leaving the company but that everyone would be keeping their jobs. The company would be operated separately from UFC, but obviously UFC could use any Pride fighter for a big match that it needed.

Key phrases — “agreement in principal” = likely a heads of agreement, “some minor points to be worked out” = likely due diligence. Read my Thursday news update to stay ahead of the curve on where this story really is likely going.

Now, the last sentence by Meltzer… more than likely, the fighter contracts with PRIDE are personal service deals and could have real problems being transferred to UFC. Therefore, the only guaranteed way to enforce the contracts is if The Fertitta Brothers bought shares into Dream Stage Entertainment Inc. If that’s the case, the risk factor just went up exponentially on a lot of levels with a lot of important authorities.

In the case of a money transaction to Japan, you’re talking about raising the awareness of the Tokyo tax bureau (along with the Kanagawa Police and perhaps Tokyo Metropolitian Police). In America, certainly there will be awareness raised by the Nevada Gaming Commission and by the Fishman Companies legal team. This is far from over as far as a business transaction.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, Zach Arnold | 52 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

52 Responses to “Meltzer: Sakakibara tells PRIDE staff the company is sold”

  1. The Gaijin says:


    IF you actually believe that utterly garbage comparision you made and MOST of the points you made…you’re exactly what this sport doesnt need.

    UNEDUCATED fear mongering in order to lord your views over that of others who have numbers and facts on their sides. By using logic like your’s – it should be illegal to cross the street b/c you *might* be struck by a bus.

    The arguments against such rules are petty, biased and completely unfounded. Trying to compare biting and eye gouging to actual skilled striking is fucking insanely stupid.

  2. […] Then came word PRIDE’s operator was telling his staff a deal in principle had been reached. This was reported later that night (Thursday night) by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer. Here is Zach’s report (with a link to Meltzer’s) with speculation on the validity. […]