The Las Vegas Review-Journal conducted an interview with UFC President Dana White in the aftermath of the major press conference in Japan, revealing that PRIDE FC will adopt the same mixed martial arts rules in the United States once it is under the control of the Fertittas.
Here's the snip from Dana:
"This is a sport and we're going to follow the unified rules that were established in New Jersey and then in Nevada. It's a sport -- mixed martial arts -- and the sport should have the same rules everywhere. As far as I'm concerned, if an organization doesn't follow these rules, it's not MMA. It's something else, but that's not MMA."
For many MMA fans and fighters, the difference in rules was a major reason to favor either promotion. Soccer kicks and knees to the head are illegal in the states, but allowed in Japan. Meanwhile, elbows are illegal overseas and acceptable in the United States.
Now, it seems like things are about to change after PRIDE 34 on April 8, at which time the Fertittas will take control of the organization.
It's a difficult decision, but unifying the rules seems to be inevitable, especially with executives already talking about cross-over fights between the promotions.
And with many state athletic commissions already onboard with an approved set of regulations and fouls, it seems like the path of least resistance is to just stick with Octagon rules.
These types of changes will no doubt affect the way in which fighters approach bouts.
For years, former PRIDE FC middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva made a living destroying grown men with soccer kicks. It's a tactic that he and other fighters like him are going to have to soon do without.
However, according to the article, PRIDE FC bouts will continue to be in a ring rather than the cage.
I'm not so sure that makes up for the decision on the rules.