PRIDE FC President and CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara had a sit down with select employees recently, informing them that the organization was in the process of being sold to the Fertittas and their jobs were safe, according to Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com.
Sakakibara, however, will no longer stay with the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion.
Here's the full snip:
"Nobuyuki Sakakibara yesterday told several members of the U.S. Pride staff that the company is in the process of being sold to Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta. He said the agreement in principal is done but there are still some minor points to be worked out and the contract is not signed. Sakakibara said he would be leaving the company but that everyone would be keeping their jobs. The company would be operated separately from UFC, but obviously UFC could use any Pride fighter for a big match that it needed."
Meltzer's report comes on the heels of other reputable sources, including Sherdog.com and MMAWeekly.com, claiming that a $65 million deal has been struck with the majority owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Keep in mind, nothing has been signed or confirmed 100 percent -- it's all speculation at this point.
Really, really well-informed speculation.
These reports fly in the face of recent statements from PRIDE FC officials who have been adamant that a sale is not pending.
However, several sources have Sakakibara in Las Vegas right now, lending more credibility to the truth behind-the-scenes details.
With PRIDE FC and the UFC running on parallel tracks possibly under Fertitta ownership, it looks like the brothers plan to keep both organizations separate. But it would be foolish to think that at some point the two wouldn't overlap.
Imagine the possibilities.