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The PRIDE quote machine

By Zach Arnold | April 9, 2007

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Bryan Alvarez & Vincent Verhei on the PRIDE 34 show.

BA: “It was a sad show. This is the end. This is the end. Now, of course they are going to continue, but this is the end. The days of wild soccer kicks on the ground and the days of dudes stomping on each other’s heads and the days of just, you know, Zulu and Butterbean, those days are probably over. The rules are changing, it’s going to be UFC-promoted PRIDE and it’s just never going to be the same. And you know, no more mad mob bosses involved, the yakuza apparently will not be involved with this new PRIDE, which I don’t know, I don’t know if that’s a bad thing anymore. We were talking about this and I compared the yakuza to steroids in sports in America. I think that everybody knows that everybody in all sports is just gassed to the gills. But when it comes out that somebody is, people are shocked! appalled! Like, my God, Barry Bonds may have been on steroids, who would have ever thought? (laughter) He might have been on growth hormone, I thought everyone’s head just grew eight hat sizes in their mid-30s or whatever. And I think it is like that with the yakuza, I think in Japan everybody has to know that the yakuza is involved in everything. Everything. And it comes out that they’re involved in PRIDE and suddenly it’s a scandal! And, you know… I just… I don’t live in Japan, I don’t understand, but to me it just seems weird that something that everybody knows is a part of the culture is enough to bring something down like this.”

VV: “I made the comment during the show that I’ve never been to Japan, I’ve never lived there and I obviously don’t know that much about it but from what I understand, people don’t live in day-to-day fear of the yakuza. They know it’s out there and if they don’t bother them, they won’t be bothered in return.”

BA: “But I mean, you talk to a million guys (wrestlers) who have gone to Japan and they go there, it’s the first night, and the yakuza takes them out to dinner. (chuckle) They have dinner, they’re all friendly, they chit-chat, and they’re friends and then life goes on. But it has brought PRIDE to its knees, Sakakibara is gone after this show…”

Dave Meltzer & Bryan Alvarez on WOL 4/8/2007:

BA: I have heard all about the disaster that was the first hour (of the PRIDE 34 US PPV) *groan* and thank God we’ve got the fast-forward button.

DM: Oh, I mean watching that thing live… Oh my God, I just… you know… I mean there are people who have suggested to me, and I don’t know that they’re wrong either which shows how bad it was, is that this was like Jerry Millen’s formatted the thing, this was like his “screw you” to Dana White I’m gonna like kill it. That’s how bad the the decision making was as far as opening the PPV with 35 minutes of talk, and then that you know interminable intermission which had to happen because that’s how they do the show there, but filling it up with you know with what they filled it up with. I mean, and they had those two fights, I just don’t understand why they didn’t show them. They made the decision before the show “we’re not going to show them” and I have no earthly idea why those fights weren’t shown.

BA: So hopefully this was Millen’s swan song.

DM: Who knows what’s going on, I mean no one knows what is going on.

(Later on in the conversation)

DM: The other aspect is, um, you had to see the show because it was, um, the PRIDE show last night was actually the biggest for 10 years from now, that will be the most memorable thing this week, not Wrestlemania, not Matt Serra you know scoring that big upset last night, but watching the friggin the funeral of PRIDE. You know, I mean like this was really it was something, you know people crying and and at the ending scene they had dozens and dozens of fighters, you know not everyone on the card but Coleman and Randleman and Wanderlei Silva and Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, and Gomi, Misaki and just all these guys stars from past and present in PRIDE in the ring and it was kinda like, you know the last episode of (WCW) Nitro. That’s what it was like.

(Later on in the conversation)

DM: So, what did you think of the funeral last night?

LH (Loretta Hunt): Oh, uh, PRIDE… I was, I was very moved actually. Um, I had just gotten back from the UFC and it was on and um, I had I had spent some time with Mr. Sakakibara when he was here for the two PRIDE shows in the United States and (sigh) it was sad, he was definitely very emotional. I found him to be someone that cared about mixed martial arts like a lot of people are in this business right now, you know, um, so I think last night what you saw was genuine and it was the end of something, you know the end of PRIDE as we know it. I don’t think PRIDE will ever be able to be the same again, um, with with him not at the helm. It will change now in some way.

Topics: Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “The PRIDE quote machine”

  1. Grape Knee High says:

    I finally watched the Pride 34 PPV last night. It was a nice moment that Saku and Tamura came out together, but other than that, I think this was one of the most frustrating PRIDE PPVs I’ve ever bought.

    * Am I the only person disgusted that we got to HEAR the crowd reaction to Butterbean/Zulu live while we had to watch Trigg & the other loser yammer on and on incessantly about pretty much nothing? And while we had to watch a friggin’ replay of Coleman/Vovchanchyn?

    * PRIDE scheduled a 4 hour PPV with InDemand…they couldn’t stick some extra fights in the 30 minutes they had left?

    * The late stoppage in Thompson/Frye was much worse than the lack of one in Okami/Swick. One of these days, Yuji Shimada is going to get someone killed.

    * Shinya Aoki might be an elite MMA grappler, but I can already see he’s going to have some high mileage fights. His lack of a striking game is going to make him PRIDE’s new Sakuraba. And I mean that in a bad way.

    * Soukoujou looks promising. Hopefully, Zuffa lets him stick around for a while in PRIDE before they cherry pick him over to the UFC.

    * Now we know why the UFC didn’t bother signing Galesic.

  2. IFL Accountant says:

    People are crying?

    Lighten up people. A family member who dies is something to ‘cry about’. A friend who dies over in a war is ‘something you cry about’. A MMA event/organization, that was run by millionaires and was bought out by another group of millionaires…

    ….is not something to ‘cry about’

    Some of you people are freaking pussies.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    Please use a different handle name…

    Everyone please stay on their best behavior in this posting.

  4. Mr Pancrase says:

    DM needs a good kick in the head.

  5. Rollo the Cat says:

    “* Now we know why the UFC didn’t bother signing Galesic.”

    he needs work, but it was an exciting fight.

  6. Grape Knee High says:

    Definitely an exciting fight. But Galesic needs *alot* of work. He’s a bit small for 185, has poor takedown defense, has poor submission defense and has poor cardio. In particular, the fact that he gassed prevented him from finishing Takimoto, IMO.

  7. Mike Farrow says:

    Galesic, like pretty much every guy who fights in the UK, needs to drop a weight class when they fight outside Europe. I’m convinced that Bisping needs to drop to 185 and Kampmann needs to look at going to 170.

    As soon as PRIDE open up their 77kg division, that’s where Galesic needs to look to make his home.

  8. iain says:

    Man the bean-zulu fight was amazing. I’m going to miss fatboys going nuts. I think everybody needs to respect the bean landing a legit sub!

    GKH you are right about Aoki. He needs to refine some standup skill because he will be caught in a bad spot one of theses days and eat a beating. Although, I love aggresive grapplers and he shouldn’t change strategies just get more well rounded.

  9. Mr1000Cent says:

    I was pissed when cable problems prevented me from ordering this show. Now that I hear about the fact they didn’t show the Zulu-Butterbean fight, and they had a half hour they didn’t fill with anything at the end of the PPV, I guess I don’t feel so bad.

    I hope this is Jerry Millen’s last PPV. In a perfect world, Pride FC under Zuffa would be run under the current Pride rules, with the production of a UFC PPV. I for one will be interested in how the next Pride PPV is done.

  10. Mr. Roadblock says:

    I’m very sad to see PRIDE go. I know there are a lot of people who disliked PRIDE for various reasons (Xenophobia, disdain for organized crime, the rules, the judging, etc). I have always been a fan of PRIDE’s product. It felt classy to me the white ring, the harsh lighting from above. It was innovative with the camera on the ref’s head and many more angles than other promtions used. I felt PRIDE routinely put great fighters against each other. I loved the tournaments. I also enjoy having a Butterbean/Zulu, Giant Silva/Henry Miller or Kharitonov/LA Giant fight thrown in one per pay per view or so. This is fighting. Let’s see what happens when a giant fights a sumo wrestler or a Russian soldier fights a 7 foot tall white supremacist.

    I also liked that PRIDE for a long time had two weight classes HW and Middleweight (205). There is nothing I hate in MMA more than hearing about weight cutting. It’s a fight. Not an anorexia contest. I don’t want to see a guy come into a fight (Joe RIggs) with no energy and hear an announcer tell me it’s because he cut 25 pounds. Fight at a weight where you’re competitive.

    MMA evolved in PRIDE a great deal from 2001-the present day. I feel knees and kicks including stomps helped jiu jitsu evolve and made fighters who employ ground and pound be more active. I hope MMA continues to evolve and hope the more restrictive rules won’t hurt it.

    I don’t care about the accusations made against PRIDE’s old backers any more than I care about how the Fertittas used inside information and leverage to strong arm and screw SEG into selling UFC. I want to see the best fighters go head to head.

    I think competition breeds success. Look what happened to the Pro Wrestling business in the U.S. when WWF bought WCW. You can say that’s different because MMA is real. But what I fear we will see id less marquee match ups since Zuffa will have no one to compete with them for PPV dollars. If you want to watch MMA you need to watch UFC. Sure Hero’s is coming here. But they’ve done a half assed job thus far in their company’s run. Who knows if Bodog will be more than a flash in the pan.

    Either way I’ll miss PRIDE dearly. I thought it was great and always looked forward to their shows. I’m glad now that I haven’t missed one in five years.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Not only do UK fighters need to cut more weight, but they need wrestling skills. It seems like every UK fighter is undersized and lacks any competent wrestling ability. Against a good American Style Wrestler, they are typically dominated.

  12. muhr says:

    “Shinya Aoki might be an elite MMA grappler, but I can already see he’s going to have some high mileage fights. His lack of a striking game is going to make him PRIDE’s new Sakuraba. And I mean that in a bad way.”

    Shinya has deficient striking, but he won’t be facing opponents that outweigh him by 30-40 lbs.

    Zelg claims that making 185 is becoming difficult, so going down to 170 is unlikely.

  13. Rollo the Cat says:

    “Not only do UK fighters need to cut more weight, but they need wrestling skills. It seems like every UK fighter is undersized and lacks any competent wrestling ability. Against a good American Style Wrestler, they are typically dominated.”

    Judo is the big grappling sport there, not wrestling. You are so right. We grow up with folk style wrestling and have great ground control.

  14. Grape Knee High says:

    “Shinya has deficient striking, but he won’t be facing opponents that outweigh him by 30-40 lbs.”

    True, but I still think he’ll be taking beatings similar to Sakuraba, who is a fave of mine, but obviously a one-dimensional fighter like Aoki is. Aoki has no other game than grappling and elite opponents of his will be able to take advantage of this. The *can* he just faced gave him quite a few pops in the face while he was trying to secure his submission.

    “Zelg claims that making 185 is becoming difficult, so going down to 170 is unlikely.”

    Tough titty for him, then. He looks like he cuts from 190. If he can’t cut to 170, I very much doubt he’ll make much of an impression on the elite ranks of 185 fighters.


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