During a conference call earlier today with national media to discuss UFC 69, Dana White departed from recent statements that he will not run PRIDE FC, inferring that he will indeed be involved with steering the promotion.
Here's a snip from the UFC President vis-ÃƒÂ -vis the Chronicle:
"PRIDE is still going to be a Japanese organization. PRIDE is going to be run the way PRIDE was. I'm, obviously, ramping up the American side of it, and I am going to do what I do in America. I run everything."
And similar statements from White courtesy of Ms. Hunt:
"Though it was announced at last week's press conference in Japan that the newly-formed PRIDE Worldwide Holdings LLC. would be run separately from the UFC, White conceded he'll have some say in its direction. ‘I run everything,' White quipped, explaining the company will keep its Japanese employees and remain Japanese-run, though he would ‘amp up the American side.'"
Not too shocking, considering White admitted to being a "control freak" during the session. It's unclear, however, as to the reasons behind the shift in public statements.
Perhaps the Fertittas and Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) President and CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara agreed that it was best to ensure that the recent acquisition did not become the Dana White show.
Regardless, it was naÃƒÂ¯ve to think that White wouldn't be pulling the strings to some degree, whether it was overt or behind closed doors.
There are a lot of other goodies contained within both write ups, including when to expect the "SuperBowl of MMA" (sometime next year), the UFC will only award one contract during the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (in previous seasons two fighters earned six-figure deals), as well as more on the HBO and ESPN deals (announcers aren't the sticking point, according to White, it's the overall production).
Go check out both sites when you have some time for more goodness.
Note: Just noticed Dave Doyle at FOXSports.com posted a similar article with some more information not contained in the above links -- stop by over there, too.