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The Godfather of PRIDE dies

By Zach Arnold | January 27, 2008

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Top story on Yahoo Japan’s front page

Hiromichi Momose, the famous organizer of PRIDE in the company’s early days, has died at the age of 67. He was found unconscious in his bathtub.

Momose was the original Godfather of PRIDE backers. He was recognizable to many PRIDE fans as the man at ringside for many events in a black ballcap, celebrating with fighters after their bouts.

Momose was the architect of PRIDE, and was Nobuhiko Takada’s major supporter when the company first started.

It was Momose, along with underlings Nobuyuki Sakakibara (from Tokai TV in Nagoya) and Naoto Morishita (who came from a large electronics discount store in Nagoya) that created the brand known as PRIDE. After KRS initially produced the first four PRIDE events, a new shell company called Dream Stage Entertainment took over. Momose eventually faded away from PRIDE and Mr. I (aka Mr. Ishizaka) grabbed control of the company after the death of Morishita in 2003.

Momose was a key player in the big Japanese MMA co-promotional shows (K-1, Inoki, & PRIDE) that took place earlier in the decade. Momose went to school with Tatsuo Kawamura, another major Japanese entertainment power broker (with his K-Dash company). Both were very close to Antonio Inoki.

In his earlier years as a college student, Momose worked at the New Latin Quarter — a famous night club that was the venue where Rikidozan was stabbed in 1963 (and later died).

If you can read Japanese, keep your eyes open for updates at the Hiroshi Nielsen blog.

Topics: Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | No Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

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