Today, April 8, marks the two-year anniversary of PRIDE 34, the last event ever held by Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) under the PRIDE FC banner. In recognition of its unfortunate demise, we present a quick look back at the purchase and eventual dissolution of PRIDE FC, as presented by Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White.
"We have been talking to Pride for probably about 11 months. It’s been a long, drawn out process but we finally we were able to put the two brands together. This is really going to change the face of MMA. Literally creating a sport that could be as big around the world as soccer. I liken it somewhat to when the NFC and AFC came together to create the NFL. We will be able to literally put on the fights that everyone wants to see. It will allow us to put on some of the biggest fights ever."
"PRIDE is still going to be a Japanese organization. PRIDE is going to be run the way PRIDE was. I’m, obviously, ramping up the American side of it, and I am going to do what I do in America. I run everything."
"I’ve pulled everything out of the trick box that I can and I can’t get a TV deal over there with PRIDE. I don’t think they want us there. I don’t think they me want me there…. PRIDE is a very powerful brand and we want to keep it alive, but I’ll tell you what, the brand is very tainted, not only over there, but over here. The problem is PRIDE was never a big company in the United States and I’m not going to drop another $44 million to try and straighten it out. (The Japanese) don’t want another (mixed martial arts) organization over there. That company was in trouble. We went in and bought it out with every intention of keeping PRIDE alive. (Japan) is a very tricky place to do business."
PRIDE may be gone, but (some) of its spirit lives on in the DREAM and Sengoku promotions -- however long they last.
After all, "Japan is a very tricky place to do business."