clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Pride invasion

Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei SilvaWith three major events in three weeks, The Ultimate Fighting Championship® recently put on an event blitzkrieg unlike any other.

Let's not forget the weekly doses of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 sprinkled throughout, too.

And just when most fight fans had enough mixed martial arts action, the Japanese UFC counterpart and its stiffest competitor – Pride Fighting Championship (Pride) – boldly staged its first ever event in the United States right on Zuffa's doorstep: Las Vegas.

Indeed, Pride's decision to showcase a star-studded card, which featured some of the world's greatest fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in Sin City, was downright ballsy.

So, did the UFC purposely plan to overwhelm fans with non-stop fighting action in the run-up of Pride's debut in the states? Or, was it mere coincidence?

Only the scheming Dana White knows that answer. But who cares, really.

Because it appears that the "Real Deal" was a success, judging by the early reactions and feedback. In fact, Pride will return in on February 24, 2007, for its second bite of the American mixed martial arts apple.

What's more, the card will feature one of its most coveted fighters -- and former UFC light heavyweight stud -- Wanderlei Silva.

Even though a deal to pit Silva versus current UFC 205-pound champion Chuck Liddell earlier this year fell apart, the "Axe Murderer" couldn't resist jumping into the ring on Saturday and calling out the "Iceman."

Chuck wasn't in the crowd, so it was more of a dig at Dana White, who intimated that he would be in the stands to witness the event first hand.

It's clear that Pride has made a bold statement this weekend. Wanderlei, on the other hand, just made stupid one. He may still be feeling the affects of that Cro-Cop kick to his head.

Pride made a risky and calculated marketing power play this weekend. In the end, it could pay huge dividends. However, the same people who made this smart decision are clearly not the same folks fanning the Silva-Liddell flames (Yakuza, perhaps?).

Put simply, the organization should want nothing to do with Chuck Liddell.

Because once Chuck puts Silva on his keester, all of this chest-thumping, trash talk and globetrotting will make them look silly.

Be smart ... pick on someone like Tim Sylvia.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania