Dana White on UFC in Japan: There’s No More Pride Events


Dana WhiteWhen UFC executives purchased Pride Fighting Championships in 2007, they had every intention to continue operating the company in Japan.

After numerous trials and tribulations trying to get things organized in Japan, the Fertitta brothers and Dana White made the determination that it just wasn’t going to happen. They shuttered Pride, coming to the realization that they just couldn’t pick it up and run with it like they had initially thought.

Five years later, at the end of February, the UFC returned to Japan with UFC 144 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Immediately the chatter turned to two lines of questioning. One: would the UFC be the savior of mixed martial arts in Japan, where the sport has floundered since the demise of Pride? And two: even though it was the UFC returning to Japan, would they do so by mixing in elements of the show that Pride was so famous for?

UFC president Dana White has addressed both questions, keeping the UFC’s return to Japan in a rather reserved perspective.

“There’s a hardcore fan base (in Japan) that loves the UFC and we’re going in there, we’re putting on a UFC event. Whether we do 7,000 seats here or we do 56,000 seats in Toronto, no matter where we are, there’s no denying we put on one of the best live shows in all of sports,” said White.

By most accounts, UFC 144 was a success. Whether that spills over into helping the mixed martial arts scene resurrect itself remains to be seen.

As for the Pride question, UFC 144 showed that White was living up to his word. The company is brought the UFC to Japan, not Pride, and not some hybrid of the two. There was never any intent to do anything different.

“We’re gonna go there; we’re gonna put on the UFC show,” said White prior to UFC 144. “We’re not doing anything Pride.”

That has nothing to do with a disregard for Pride. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. The UFC president holds Pride in high regard.

“Pride is the only other organization that I respected. Pride did huge sellout shows,” he commented.

“The Pride thing didn’t work out. We gave it a shot. It didn’t work out. Great history in Pride, but there’s no more Pride events.”

Check out Dana White talking at length about the state of mixed martial arts in Japan and the UFC’s place in it…

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 24 days ago
  • 13 views

UFC president Dana White takes umbrage to recently retired Wanderlei Silva's claims that the UFC doesn't share the wealth. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 134 views

In the first episode of UFC 178 Embedded, UFC president Dana White and Conor McGregor watch UFC Fight Night 52, Dustin Poirier plans his after-party at an Irish pub, and much more above. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC president Dana White didn't foresee the Nevada Athletic Commission issuing a lifetime ban to Wanderlei Silva. But he knew the troubled former champion was in for some sort of major punishment, si read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 36 views

On Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission issued Wanderlei Silva a lifetime ban and fined him $70,000 for dodging a drug test prior to his UFC 175 bout against Chael Sonnen. read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 21 views

UFC president Dana White reacts to Wanderlei Silva being banned for life by the Nevada Athletic Commission, saying he didn't see a lifetime ban coming. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 9 views

Looks like UFC President Dana White isn't particularly excited that women's MMA pioneer Gina Carano has opted to make more movies instead of stepping inside the Octagon. White went off on "Conviction read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 48 views

UFC president Dana White sounds off on the difficulties of signing former Strikeforce champion and current movie actress Gina Carano. With dreams of a title fight between Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 5 views

Anthony Johnson has been indefinitely suspended from UFC. According to UFC President Dana White, Johnson's return to the Octagon is anything but certain. He's not in a good position right now. He was read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

On Friday UFC president Dana White said Wanderlei Silva has been blackballed from induction in the Hall of Fame. read news >>