Two independent, reliable and unrelated sources have confirmed that Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta -- whom own and operate Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- have purchased its biggest rival, PRIDE FC, for $65 million.
I've been sitting on this nugget all afternoon since hearing it live on the Savage Dog Show and Beatdown Sherdog radio.
For months, we've heard rumors that the two biggest mixed martial arts promotions on the planet would soon be under one roof. We've carefully passed along those rumors, and almost didn't this time around because we don't want to fan the flames and get hopes up.
Naturally, it's created quite a stir, especially in the forums.
Remember, this is pure speculation.
According to the report, UFC President Dana White has had no involvement in the talks — at least not on the surface.
It's unclear the precise reasons behind that decision, as well as the Fertittas making the purchase separate from their company.
However, if the rumor is indeed fact, we'll find out in the coming days.
UPDATE: MMAWeekly.com has checked with its sources, including those in Japan, and is not only corroborating the statements made on Sherdog radio, but is also adding a few more details:
Here's a snip:
"According to our sources, the purchase is believed to include fighter contracts, Pride's video library, and the Pride FC name brand. The issue of fighter contracts is one of the more touchy points, as there can be variables in each individual contract that will have to be dealt with, and no information has come forth that states which fighters would be included. It was not immediately clear when the deal would be announced, although it is believed that Nobuyuki Sakikabara, the President & CEO Of Dream Stage Entertainment (Pride's present owner), is traveling to the United States this week in regards to matters related to the agreement."
Once again, it's important to note that there is apparently nothing signed. Take this latest update with a grain of salt and try to not get too excited -- or upset -- until the transaction is made official.
And, there's always the possibility that the deal -- if there even is one -- could fall apart.