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« | Home | »

Thursday trash talk: UFC gets major media coverage

By Zach Arnold | March 28, 2007

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Kakutolog: Nobuyuki Sakakibara interview in Kami no Puroresu

For those who understand Japanese, here’s some video of comments from Nobuyuki Sakakibara about the PRIDE asset sale agreement. Also, site commenter Body Shots posted this over at Sherdog.

IFL: UFC/PRIDE merger good for us

So says Gareb Shamus in an interview with the North Jersey Media Group.

So, ESPN TV is willing to air footage of Donald Trump slapping Vince McMahon in their Top 10 list but won’t discuss UFC reaching a handshake agreement on stage and a deal on paper to buy the PRIDE assets from DSE. Go figure. The rest of the mainstream media didn’t get ESPN’s message.

The Fight Network reports that Brandon Vera is aiming to stay long-term with the UFC.

  1. Doghouse Boxing: Steroids in MMA
  2. Radio: Komikazee’s MMA Smackdown #16
  3. The Gary Post-Tribune: Crazy Boys fight for fun (backyard MMA on YouTube)
  4. Sherdog: Gracie FC returns on May 19th in Columbus, Ohio (George Bush is fighting on the card!)
  5. MMA News: Interview with Jens Pulver
  6. The Gateway Online (Canada): These sports need to be off TV (UFC is included)
  7. The Globe Gazette: Iowa state senate passes bill to end regulation of MMA (Monte Cox hates it)
  8. Radio Iowa: More on the Iowa/MMA regulation story
  9. The Canadian Press: Denis Kang sees positives in UFC takeover of PRIDE
  10. AOL Sports Blog: Joe and Gavin Maloof want you to watch the UFC
  11. Deadspin: We welcome our new UFC overlords
  12. WorldGolf: UFC, PRIDE merger brings hyperbole normally reserved for Tiger Woods
  13. The Baltimore Sun: Mix it up – planned UFC/PRIDE merger could provide dream bouts
  14. The Des Moines Register (Iowa): Carnage the Hilton Coliseum in Ames on 4/28
  15. The Orange County Register: Transcript from Zuffa conference call on UFC buying PRIDE assets
  16. MMA California: Interview with Jeff Cairns
  17. MMA HQ: Opinion on the Zuffa/PRIDE deal
  18. UFC HP: Joe Stevenson looks for three in a row
  19. UFC Junkie: The SuperBowl of MMA: UFC vs. PRIDE mega events
  20. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Leo & Matt Kirby have hold of each other – father-sown throwdowns are encouraged

Topics: All Topics, IFL, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 41 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

41 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: UFC gets major media coverage”

  1. Jarred says:

    Just curious, but with UFC/PRIDE and then K-1/Spirit MC together, where’s that leave Denis Kang?

  2. Matt Boone says:

    Got a new interview with Jens Pulver up where he talks about TUF 5 team selections with BJ Penn and the hand-raising incident. The RSS feed link is

  3. Harold says:

    so now your stating it as fact that they have only a handshake agreement to buy Pride? are you really that much of an idiot that you can’t just admit you were wrong about the deal not being done? it was bad enough to write things where you constantly imply that the deal isn’t done, but now your outright calling it a handshake agreement as if it’s just a factual statement.

  4. PizzaChef says:

    Brandon Vera on Sherdog forums. Got to LOVE how in the first few posts people bash Dana.

  5. Erik says:

    You crack me up with your claims of due diligence not being performed yet.

    It is crystal clear you have no experience in business whatsoever.

  6. David says:

    ESPN did talk about the merge as it was one of their top headlines on their FRONT PAGE.

  7. Royal B. says:

    But not on Television.

    I thought they didn’t “cover pro-wrestling”?

  8. Body_Shots says:
    Sakakibara’s interview with Kamipro, interesting read.

  9. Mike says:

    I’ll say this, the anti-UFC guy in the Gateway piece said that he gave UFC a shot and didn’t like it. He also said he respected their fighting abilities and that MMA is an art form. I have no problem with someone coming to that conclusion, because it sounds like he gave it an honest shot. MMA isn’t for everyone.

  10. Mr1000Cent says:

    Well, when UFC books a show at Detroit’s Ford Field, then maybe ESPN will have major press coverage, and talk about it on Sportscenter (that, and all of the anti-mma sports writers that work for ESPN will be lifted up to Heaven as part of the rapture, needless to say, I don’t see either of those things happening any time soon) :D.

  11. Mr1000Cent says:

    Actually, come to think of it, if/when UFC does do a show at Ford Field, does that mean the fighters will be transported down to the ring in mini octagons?

    Just a thought.

  12. klown says:

    I like Pride and UFC the old way, 2 distinct interpretations of the sport. The type of fighter to dominate in a ring, with ref readjustments, with stomps and soccer kicks and knees on the ground, is different from the type of fighter who dominates in a cage, with elbows. The different rules set a whole different feel to each promotion, style and pace of fights, strategies available to fighters. I regret any “unification”, or dilution of their unique styles.

    Of course, I’m excited for the Pride vs UFC fights. But imagine if 2 or 3 fight feuds were played out in each of the 2 settings. It would be interesting to see if, for example, Silva beats Liddell in the ring but loses in the Octagon, or perhaps it would be the opposite, and we’d find little or no correlation between the setting and who wins. We’d find out to what extent a particular fighter’s strategies depends on the rules or the structure, and which fighters win no matter where. I’d be interested to see.

  13. ukiro says:

    This might not be the ideal place to ask, but what promotions still allow knees and/or kicks/stomps to the head of a downed opponent? ICON, IVC, and…? Seeing as Zuffa will primarily focus on getting the unified (UFC) rules sanctioned in all 50 states, I think knees to the head in US fights, which are oh so essential to prevent the frustrating turtle defense, are still many years away. Sadly.

  14. Grape Knee High says:

    Cage Rage also allows knees/kicks/stomps to the head of a downed opponent when the ref signals “open guard”. When you watch Cage Rage events, you can see a painted line that follows the perimeter of the cage but about 3 feet out. The ref calls “open guard” if a downed fighter is within the inner area of that perimeter (ie, not trapped in any way against the cage).

  15. Xavier says:

    Just in case some people didn’t read the Saki interview…

    Sakakibara: We didn’t sign a contract till March. In Los Angeles, I met their lawyers,my lawyer and Lorenzo joined through the phone. We said “All right, let’s close the deal”, but for some reasons, I couldn’t sign right away.
    – Though you were in agreement?
    Sakakibara: I guess I really hated or I was afraid to see things going on mechanically and inorganically. I happened to be hungry at that time, so I said “Give me 30 minutes for a cup of coffee”, went to Starbucks alone, and thought hard wondering “Is this really the way to make PRIDE happy?” I wasn’t happy at all!
    – That’s exactly the feeling of a father who is marrying off his daughter.
    Sakakibara: You bet (laughing)! I had thought I would have been happier or relieved to be able to pave the way for the future of PRIDE, but I was kind of sad….no wonder because PRIDE was flying out of my hands. Looking back at the last 10 years, I find myself spending 80 to 90 % of my life for PRIDE. I have never thought about separating from my beloved PRIDE. I never doubted my belief that when I was gone, PRIDE would be gone, too, and when PRIDE was gone, I would be gone. So I was obsessed with extreme sentimentalism, but told myself that I should go the way I believe to be the best. I knew that although I was personally sad, that was the best road to take for the fans, the fighters, and the staff. So, I went back to the room and signed the contract.


    That should put to rest the idle speculation, eh?

  16. JThue says:

    Has no one else noticed that Wes Sims is now scheduled to HEADLINE two seperate shows in the space of eight days?

    On a more positive note for GFC, at least they’re running in the right place this time. Or saying they will. I’ll believe this show is happening if it’s still scheduled come weight-ins, but at least they deserve credit for not being completely dead yet after all.

  17. D.Capitated says:

    As a reminder about the “different styles”: MMA is a real sport. Talking about PRIDE/UFC as being WCW/WWF and the difference between southern wrestling and the old WWWF style is null and void. The fact is that having PRIDE be strong in the US, or really still exist, creates difficulty for the press in terms of how to actually cover the sport as, you know, a sport in a serious journalistic fashion. Having something approximating unified champions and a unified rules for the entirety of the sport is a great step for it, given that its still very much in an embryonic phase.

    ICON may keep it, and I think K-1 still allows it, but I don’t know who else would follow that. I don’t know if DEEP will still exist and they allow it. ZST? 2H2H probably won’t with the changeover too. At this point, it makes more sense for everyone to port over to the NJSAC rules given that 2 of the three dominant groups use that set.

  18. GassedOut says:

    I got a kick out of the golf guy telling people that Tiger Woods would “kick all their asses.” Chuck or Anderson vs Tiger woods for the belt…anyone buy that PPV? No dis to Tiger, he’s the best golfer ever, but in a ring? He’d tap in less than a minute is my guess.

    klown said:
    Of course, I’m excited for the Pride vs UFC fights. But imagine if 2 or 3 fight feuds were played out in each of the 2 settings. It would be interesting to see if, for example, Silva beats Liddell in the ring but loses in the Octagon, or perhaps it would be the opposite, and we’d find little or no correlation between the setting and who wins. We’d find out to what extent a particular fighter’s strategies depends on the rules or the structure, and which fighters win no matter where. I’d be interested to see.

    I like that idea. What about best of three? One in a ring, one in a cage, and the last on an old-style Judo tatami mat with no boundaries, just judges and a referee to move it if need be back to the center? 🙂

  19. Remember folks : Dana White lies. Sakakibara lies a lot. I’m not saying things aren’t a done deal (personally i think it is), but just because one of them says something doesn’t mean it’s so.

  20. Grape Knee High says:

    I think this whole question of whether this deal is “inked” or not is only coming up because Zach is too proud to admit that much of his conjecture over the past week is unfounded and misguided.

    For example, even as of yesterday, he’s still clinging to the notion that the Fishman lawsuit (and Zach’s idea that some shadowy Yazkua figures will be magically “revealed” during Fishman’s research for his lawsuit) is anything more than a mere footnote. It will not be “intriguing” (as he put it). Zuffa will settle the suit for cash, no Yakuza figures will be revealed, and the Fertittas will not lose their gaming licenses.

  21. Yeah, as i’ve said in the past I think Zach might have his own case of echo chamber effect. But honestly, who cares? You’re supposed to read information and make up your own mind about it. Zach’s made up his mind and others have made up theirs. So why call each other names? There’s a place for that and it’s called Sherdog, not Fightopinion. I’m not gonna nuthug Zach, but this is the one last intelligent discussion group I have left so for that reason can people please TRY to act like civil adults?

  22. DarthMolen says:

    *will pay 68 meeelion dollars to watch FightLinker nuthug Zach*

    Now thats a sport I can endorse.

    Hmm, anybody see the “Wild World of Spike TV”? You’ll know what I mean….

  23. GassedOut says:

    [Aussie Accent] Who invented this TOTALLY AWESOME sport?

  24. Euthyphro says:

    I was just hoping we could return to the idea of UFC running their first UFC vs. PRIDE card in Ford Field, with Chuck Liddell riding to the ring in a mini-Octagon, wearing a kilt with half of his face (divided vertically) painted black. This can’t happen soon enough.

  25. DarthMolen says:

    As long as he doesn’t show me his “freedom”, I’m good with it Euth.

  26. Euthyphro says:

    Hey Zach, is it just me, or is there not a lot being said about the fact that WrestleMania is this weekend? It was a particularly busy weekend in MMA, and all the “I’ll throw you a bone” attention that would normally go to good ol’ TitanSports for their biggest weekend of the year has instead gone the way of the UFC/PRIDE merger. I wonder what that will end up doing to the bottom line for everyone’s favorite publicly traded sports entertainment entity.

  27. D.Capitated says:

    Wrestlemania already sold a bazillion tickets and the ratings for Raw have been more than passable. I wouldn’t worry about Vince going to the poorhouse. There will probably be 70,000 people in Ford Field and 900,000-1,000,000 worldwide buys.

  28. JThue says:

    Euth: There’s clips of Vince and Trump on TV all over the world this week. Even here in Norway I’ll be afraid to check national news sites and TV until I’ve had a chance to watch Wrestlemania sometime Monday night in realistic fear of getting spoiled. Can’t say I’ve experienced that before.

  29. Jordan Breen says:

    Euthyphro, what’s Wrestlemania saying this year? Is there an undisputed heavyweight title tournament, and if so, how are Ted DiBiase’s odds this time around? I’m pulling for him. I think he has the technical skills and experience to do it.

  30. Euthyphro says:

    Yeah, I’ve gotta say, as I posted this, I thought to myself, “Self — could the fact that you haven’t seen anything about WrestleMania have anything to do with the fact that you’ve been in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires for the last two weeks for work?” They don’t cut in with WrestleMania coverage during Boca Juniors games. Heck, I’ve missed all of March Madness! (Except for USC/UNC, which a bar in Buenos Aires streamed off the internet at my drunken request.)

    So that’s probably it. But glad to hear that the word is out there — I’m hoping for a good show!

  31. Euthyphro says:

    Jordan – I really think DiBiase’s got a shot — if he can avoid that devastating Triangle Choke of The Undertaker.

  32. Cage Rage on US TV?

    This one is interesting because i have a gut feeling it’s HBO.

  33. D.Capitated says:

    I’ll be shocked if its HBO. Process of elimination:

    FSN/MSG: Just televised Mormeck/Bell II live from Paris 2 weeks ago. Would be overjoyed with a .5. Spent millions on boxing because of numbers done by Holyfield and Toney on their network.

    Versus: Has deal with WEC

    Showtime: Not likely on such short notice, not in the budget

    HBO: LOL NO.

    ESPN: Cage Rage is an odd way to start an MMA relationship. They do have connections with K-1 USA though and show the occasional kickboxing show.

    Comcast: Televised Holyfield’s last bout live. Has televised European events on tape delay, like skiing.

    Integrated Sports PPV: More likely than any other option.

    There’s wild cards too, like G4, but I wouldn’t expect it. Gut is that it’ll go for $25 on a PPV along the lines of this weekend’s Maske/Hill.

  34. Mr1000Cent says:

    Euthyphro, IMO, Taker will only be the champ, because he has the easy draw. I mean after he beats DiBiase, he gets to wrestle the winner of the Ultimate Warrior vs. Bill Goldberg match. While IMO, that’s going to be the match of the night, and a complete stand up war, the winner of that match will have too much taken out of them. I think it should have been the Ultimate Warrior vs. the Undertaker in the semi-finals, but that’s just the start with my complaints with the WWE’s match making :D.

  35. JThue says:

    Re CRC on US TV: I was thinking Showtime myself. I mean, if Tanigawa can talk Showtime and Pro Elite into a Coliseum show, he sure as hell can convince them, by using the same USA now = Japan 2002 logic, that Bob Sapp = RATINGS!!!!!

  36. They’re saying April 21st, the show will be on TV. I don’t think that Showtime would shotgun something so fast, but it makes sense if HBO was keeping the slot open to just take Cage Rage and stick it in. The wankers at HBO probably think the show will be more palatable and civilised since it’s British

  37. 45 Huddle says:

    Cage Rage will not be on HBO. HBO has a long track record of announcing programing a long time in advance. Not to mention that HBO Sports has a certain level of content. They aren’t going to risk their reputation on some small, non-American promoter, in a sport that they don’t even want to risk the big dog (UFC) in.

    If anything is going on HBO in the future, it is most likely going to be Pride.

  38. 45 Huddle says:

    I have a feeling their will be no deal, or it will be on one of those stations that gets no viewers, let TechTV or some 100+ channel who’s audience is almost nothing.

  39. Harold says:

    why are comments closed on the friday news? can you not take critisism?

  40. Robert Poole says:

    Harold –

    Lay off Zach. You’ve gotten your shots in all over this post. Just remember if it wasn’t for Zach and all the work he did to maintain this website, you wouldn’t have a site to visit and bitch about in the first place.

    And if Zach’s opinions bother you so much, there are a ton of other places to go for MMA news/talk.


  41. ukiro says:

    While criticism (of the civilized variety) is a necessity for any form of intellectual debate, I think some people need to back up their attacks way better, or shut the hell up. And for all we know, Zach may have posted todays news links, forgot to activate comments, and then left the computer to do something else (or whatever). So let’s not jump to conclusions.


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