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Dana White aggressively targets PRIDE talent

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UFC President Dana White has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to his stiffest competitor, PRIDE FC.

For years, the two "super power" MMA promotions have battled for supremacy within the industry. PRIDE has been slowly losing clout of late because of its own internal problems (i.e. ties to the Japanese mob) and the UFC raiding its talented fighter pool.

According to recent statements from White in the last few days, it's only the beginning.

Here's a snip from CBS

"There's only one way to find out [who the true champions are], and that's to have them all fight. I've been trying to make that [UFC vs. PRIDE] happen for years. I sent Chuck Liddell over (to Pride FC) three times, trying to get them over here, and they won't cooperate with us. So now, we're just going to have to take all of their guys and find out for ourselves."

And from the Boston Herald:

"Going out and acquiring guys is huge.... PRIDE is our big competition and I'm out there trying to lock up their big talent as soon as their contracts with them are over. I want them in the UFC."

It's no secret that some of the best fighters in the world ply their trade on Japanese soil.

Signing Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, who will make his Octagon debut at UFC 67 this Saturday, away from PRIDE appears to be just the start of bigger and bolder moves on the part of Zuffa going forward.

Next target: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira?

Who knows. But clearly, the UFC has gained upperhand in its rivalry with PRIDE and is showing no signs of mercy.

I would normally attribute this to Dana being confident and just talking to talk. But the statements are becoming more frequent and more brazen recently, leading me to believe that another big announcement is on its way in the near future.

Stay tuned -- things could get very interesting, very fast.

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