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PRIDE FC boss will attend UFC 67 and cheer for ‘CroCop'

pride fc is reporting that Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara will be in the stands this weekend at UFC 67, watching his former superstar fighter, Mirko "Cro Cop' Filipovic, dismantle Eddie Sanchez.

DSE owns PRIDE Fighting Championship — the Japanese UFC counterpart for which "Cro Cop" fought under for nearly six years.


Here's a snip from Sakakibara:

"Of course I will cheer for Mirko. I think that of all the new sports, MMA is the most exciting. If the UFC fighters would like to fight in Pride, then fine. If it is the other way around, and Pride fighters would like to test themselves in the UFC that is fine too. Perhaps it is a little ridiculous to have two big MMA organizations, but we are thinking 10, 20 years down the road. We are working at putting together Pride vs. UFC events in the United States and one day having a Superbowl with the champions of each of the weight divisions in Dodgers stadium."

He then adds this gem:

"Sending Mirko to them is our secret strategy. The truth is that we are grateful for the development UFC has spurred in the American market and the recognition of MMA. It would be very difficult for Pride alone to catch the attention of the general public. I think it is normal that people consider the UFC the entrance to the world of MMA. Once they pass through that entrance, Pride will be there waiting for them."

On the surface, it appears that Sakakibara is not upset about losing one of the world's most talented MMA fighters.

Don't be fooled -- deep down it was a huge loss that will smart for a very long time.

More of interest here is the fact that Sakakibara will be in attendance on February 3 in Las Vegas for the show, as well as the "Superbowl" comments about PRIDE vs. UFC.

Hmmm ... Superbowl weekend + Superbowl comments + PRIDE boss in attendance = major announcement coming?

It's possible, I guess, but I refuse to read into this too much — even though it's very hard not to get excited about the possibility.

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