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Validation: “the truth” about PRIDE was really “the truth” as you (and UFC) suspected

By Zach Arnold | April 15, 2016

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There has always been one critical question about UFC’s purchase of PRIDE’s assets: why did the Nevada Gaming Commission allow the deal to happen?

The Nevada Gaming Commission is extremely tough on business dealings involving questionable individuals and walking acts of moral turpitude. We knew the Fertitta family had extraordinary power but even they aren’t the biggest fish in Nevada.

One of the nagging sub-questions about that asset purchase was this: UFC hired Spectrum Gaming to cover their ass on the issue of “due diligence” with PRIDE. In other words, legal cover for dealing with Nobuyuki Sakakibara and company. When Spectrum Gaming gave cover to UFC for the PRIDE asset purchase, I couldn’t believe it. Why would these entities risk their reputation for that guy even at UFC’s benefit?

The answer: They knew what was up. UFC background check claimed Sakakibara is “not a person of suitable character.”

Paul Gift’s report at Bloody Elbow details some extremely interesting findings if you followed the timeline of PRIDE’s implosion:

The 38-page Spectrum Gaming report on Sakakibara & Dream Stage Entertainment is an amusing read. Some bullet points:

Bottom line? Everyone knew “the truth” going into the business deal. They were all trying to fight each other *after* the deal.

Which raises the primary question we asked a decade ago: Why did the Nevada Gaming Commission allow this transaction to happen and allow a due diligence background check happen *after* the transaction?

Sakakibara sued Spectrum Gaming and UFC. They reached a settlement. He got paid. Everybody got what they wanted. Everybody knew what they were getting into. The regulators didn’t stop the transaction from happening. None of this is earth-shattering information but it does confirm the majority of suspicions you had about what exactly went down and why.

Topics: Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, UFC, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Validation: “the truth” about PRIDE was really “the truth” as you (and UFC) suspected”

  1. david m says:

    Poor Rashad. It’s all over. He had a good run.


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