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April Fool’s: Dana wants PRIDE rules?

By Zach Arnold | April 1, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

Does anyone have an event report or results from the Panther Fight League Genesis event that happened in Miami on Saturday?

Dana White gave an ‘exclusive’ interview with Daily Sports newspaper in Japan on Saturday. The theme was a “kakutougi (MMA) Super Bowl.” The article says that Dana wants UFC and PRIDE to have the same weight classes and create a universal standard on that front. Dana suggested that Mirko Cro Cop should face PRIDE Heavyweight champion Fedor at this year’s PRIDE Man Festival (Otoko Matsuri) event.

He mentioned that he would like to see a 5 vs. 5 UFC vs. PRIDE series of fights (with the five matches based on the 5 different weight classes under Unified rules).

The most interesting item in the interview is Dana discussing the need for PRIDE to have their rules in Japan and UFC to use the Unified rules in the States. Are we going to see Rumble on the Rock-style rules for PRIDE?

Shukan Gendai firing back at DSE & UFC

Tomorrow, a three-page negative article is coming against DSE and the sale of the PRIDE assets. Gendai (site search of past articles here) is the magazine whose multi-month negative campaign essentially got PRIDE kicked off of the Fuji TV network (Fuji TV never officially made this claim legally).

The article tomorrow will focus on Gendai’s claim about the ‘virtual yakuza owner’ of DSE “Mr. I” (aka Ishizaka aka Kim Dok-Soo), Fuji TV producer Kunio Kiyohara (who got demoted after PRIDE was kicked off of Fuji TV), and more.

It didn’t take long for Gendai to bring up the term ‘boryokudan’ (yakuza violence group) in association with the PRIDE name and now tie in UFC’s name into the media coverage. On their end, it makes marketing sense. They’ve spent months pushing the storyline that DSE was supposedly backed by the yakuza and now that Lorenzo Fertitta has purchased the PRIDE assets from DSE, the obviously next step for the magazine is to push the claim that Fertitta’s money is going to the yakuza.

Somehow, I don’t imagine that this was the kind of ‘strong brand name’ in the Japanese marketplace that was discussed at the Roppongi Hills Arena press conference last Tuesday.

Onto today’s media headlines.

  1. The SE Missourian: Former baseball player Justin Welker wins debut in cage match
  2. CBS Sportsline: The Fringe – Interview with Diego Sanchez
  3. The Honolulu Advertiser: Robbie Lawler KO’s Frank Trigg in fourth round to win the ICON Middleweight title
  4. Sherdog: ECC 5 draws 4,500 in Halifax on Saturday night
  5. UFC HP: Melvin Guillard – Fire Away
  6. MMA News: BJ Penn interview

Topics: All Topics, Canada, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, Zach Arnold | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “April Fool’s: Dana wants PRIDE rules?”

  1. sebastian says:

    Nothing was mentioned on knees on the ground in the States?
    He wants knees in Pride. He wants the same rules world-wide. Does that mean he expects knees to show up in the States sometime soon?
    We hear Nick Lembo is looking into it.

  2. MMA Game says:

    Does anyone know if Ryan Pomeroy vs Haender Rodriguez was cancelled? (Panther Fight League).

    Thanks in advance.

  3. chis says:

    UFC will revive MMA in Japan.

  4. Euthyphro says:

    Hey Zach — haven’t seen anybody talk about this yet. What will the sale of PRIDE do to Hustle? Is DSE staying together to run Hustle? Is Hustle being spun off?

  5. CapnHulk says:

    The ICON stream on ProElite was really good, except for the audio which was awful until the later main card bouts. The Trigg/Lawler match was a really back-and-forth brawl. After the first round, though, Trigg didn’t seem to have the strength to take down Lawler anymore and Lawler, in turn, punished him with some really brutal strikes. Trigg deserves a lot of respect for continuing to push the pace after the shots he took.

    It was worth staying up until 4 a.m. to watch.

  6. PizzaChef says:

    This PRIDE using PRIDE rules news article better not be a bad April Fools joke.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Since Frank Trigg started his career at 10-1, he has been a .500 fighter since then, going 5-5. He has done so against very good competition. It has also proven that he is incapable of beating the best at either Middleweight or Welterweight.

  8. The Gaijin says:

    Anyone else sick of 45 Huddle’s blatant hating of anything non-UFC related?

    i.e. “Josh Barnett is a marketable fighter in the US”

  9. BSP says:

    I’m skeptical about the Dana-wants-PRIDE-rules thing. He’s already said he wants PRIDE under the unified rules — and if I recall, specifically mentioned no stomps, soccer kicks, knees to a downed opponent, etc.

    Of course, he’s also been clear that he wants knees on the ground reintroduced in the U.S. Maybe that’s what he was talking about, and this is just the result of a translation error.

  10. Zach Arnold says:

    BSP – there’s two ways to look at it. 1) Dana is pandering to the Japanese audience, telling them what they want to hear. Or 2) He and Zuffa are now just formulating a game plan on what to do with PRIDE and are constantly changing their minds about what to do.

    In regards to Hustle, I heard that Hustle was going to be operated ‘independently’ although they have continued angles in the press at the DSE offices… which would indicate to me that not a lot has changed. I know they are going forth with their May event schedule.

  11. Zach Arnold says:

    Heavens… Conan Silveira won in the main event of the PFL show. Talk about a fascinating character.

  12. Grape Knee High says:

    I am also very doubtful that Dana actually wants true PRIDE rules in PRIDE.

    I think what is being lost in the translation here — or maybe it’s just wishful thinking on the part of the Japanese press — is that Dana does not want the UFC to come across as the “meddling foreigner” who immediately comes in and changes a core part of the PRIDE promotion (or namely, the rules).

    So what Dana does is that he pretty clearly says “unified rules” out of one side of his mouth and “we’re not changing PRIDE” out of the other. This has served to confuse both fans and Japanese press. Intentionally, I think.

    If you examine the line of questions/answers in the conference call transcript that Zach linked to a few days ago, it’s pretty obvious that when Dana says “PRIDE rules are not changing”, he means according to the PRIDE rules that were in effect in the US, which obviously were run under unified rules and not PRIDE Japan rules.

    I do feel he is obfuscating intentionally to soothe any potential anti-Gaijin sentiment that might (or will) come with rule changes.

  13. BSP says:

    I think Grape Knee High’s scenario is probably correct. White and Fertitta kept saying “PRIDE will be the same,” over and over at the press conference. But then, when pressed, acknowledged that the rules would be different (and they didn’t seem happy to be pushed into the admission).

    Of course, I’m hoping Zach’s second scenario is correct — that after hearing the outcry against changing PRIDE’s rules, that they’re now reconsidering. Unfortunately, I think this is pretty unlikely.

  14. […] Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo of Zuffa purchasing the PRIDE assets from Dream Stage Entertainment, Dana White did an interview in Daily Sports in which he claimed that he was aiming to run Mirko Cro Cop vs. Fedor for New Year’s Eve in […]


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