President of PRIDE USA, Ed Fishman, has challenged UFC President Dana White and his organization with a $40 million bet that the top PRIDE fighters can beat the top UFC fighters in a "winner take all" tournament, according to MMAWeekly.com.
Here's a snip:
"... Fishman made a public challenge to the UFC to pit each organization's #1 and #2 fighters in each of four weight classes against each other in a best-of-eight "Winner Take All" format, with both companies putting up $20 million. The first organization to win five of the eight bouts would take home the $40 million prize."
And a snip from Fishman:
"I've always known that Pride has superior fighters over the UFC and the fans unanimously agree that Pride puts on a more exciting event. Once I fully acquire Pride FC, I intend to prove we have the best fighters, in what is sure to be the biggest prize, not just in mixed martial arts, but in sports history."
For weeks, we've detailed the war between Fishman and Zuffa — UFC's parent company — to purchase the rights to PRIDE FC and its fighters. To read those stories click here.
Things heated up yesterday with news from White the UFC recently signed away another top fighter from PRIDE FC, Fabricio Werdum. To read more about his bold statement regarding the acquisition click here.
PRIDE FC has publicly defended that the promotion is not for sale, making this situation difficult to get a good read on.
However, it's clear that the bad blood between White and Zuffa could eventually lead to a mixed martial arts arms race should Fishman get behind the PRIDE FC steering wheel.
Let's pretend for a moment that Fishman eventually purchases PRIDE FC, and White for some reason takes the bait on the bet.
Here are the unreal match ups we might get to witness, according to Ivan Trembow in the FightOpinion.com comments section:
Heavyweight Fight #1: Mirko Cro Cop (UFC) vs. Fedor Emelianenko (Pride)
Heavyweight Fight #2: Tim Sylvia (UFC) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pride)
Alternate options: Andrei Arlovski (UFC) or Josh Barnett (Pride)
205-pound fight #1: Chuck Liddell (UFC) vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (Pride)
205-pound fight #2: Renato Sobral (UFC) vs. Wanderlei Silva (Pride)
Alternate options: Quinton Jackson (UFC) or Ricardo Arona (Pride)
185-pound fight #1: Anderson Silva (UFC) vs. Paulo Filho (Pride)
185-pound fight #2: Rich Franklin (UFC) vs. Kazuo Misaki (Pride)
Alternate options: Nathan Marquardt (UFC) or Dan Henderson (Pride)
160-pound fight #1: Sean Sherk (UFC) vs. Takanori Gomi (Pride)
160-pound fight #2: Hermes Franca (UFC) vs. Hayato Sakurai (Pride)
Alternate options: Joe Stevenson (UFC) or Gilbert Melendez (Pride)
Note from Trembow: Please note I'm not saying that I think this challenge is going to come to fruition, this is just from a fantasy match-up standpoint of "what if" it did happen.
These match ups are downright mouthwatering. I think it's safe to say that Liddell would fight Silva, but that's the only real issue I have with this dream card.