It was one of the top mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations of all time.
PRIDE Fighting Championships (Pride FC) brought fans some of the biggest fights and fighters in the history of the sport itself. Based out of Japan, Pride FC was where such big names as Alistair Overeem, Quinton Jackson, Mark Coleman, Antonio Rodridgo Nogueira and his brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Kazushi Sakuraba and Fedor Emelianenko, among many others, made their bones.
There was just something epic about Pride FC. The atmosphere, the story lines, the dramatic pageantry, Lenne Hardt! If you're a hardcore MMA fan, you can't help but miss it.
Apparently, there are a group of passionate individuals who feel that way, so much that they decided to try and start a social networking movement to "Bring back PRIDE FC." The group has created a Facebook fan page, and has already begun to garner the support of legends of the sport like PRIDE's own Bas Rutten, who has since retired from the MMA to become a television analyst for AXS TV.
But, is their mission a lost cause?
In 2007, ZUFFA bought out Pride FC and it was only a matter of time before the promotion was no more. Since the organization folded, conspiracy theories have abounded as to why things fell apart.
Some have even alleged that the infamous Japanese Yakuza crime mob played a role in Pride FC's demise.
Either way, a return is unlikely at best. ZUFFA owns PRIDE's library of fights, and even if the former ownership was able to put something similar together, again, it would almost certainly have to use a different name for the promotion (see DREAM).
But, it's fun to pretend.
Interested in rallying behind the cause for the sake of nostalgia? Check out the "Bring back Pride FC" Facebook page, here.