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


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 16 days ago
  • 40 views

UFC president Dana White has high expectations for The Ultimate Fighter 20 all female strawweight cast, and promises a rememberable season of the reality series. more

  • 29 days ago
  • 2355 views

UFC President Dana White has often proclaimed that he's a big Chael Sonnen fan, but after failing two recent drug tests for four separate banned substances, he decided enough was enough. "The American Gangster," one of MMA's most polarizing figures, was fired from his job as a UFC/FOX Sports analyst on Monday after failing a random drug test for EPO and human growth hormone (HGH), per UFC.com. White decided to further explain the decision during an appearance on FOX Sports 1 last night, transcri more

  • 27 days ago
  • 34 views

UFC President Dana White discussed his opinion on the new NSAC executive director and what he likes about him so far. It seems the "proactive" approach that Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Robert Bennett took on early in his reign as commission head has gotten him into the good graces of the UFC's head honcho.
Dana White, who is in Las Vegas for the International Fight Week and the two live events that accompany it, took a moment on Wednesday afternoon to offer a stark contra more

  • 25 days ago
  • 138 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White discusses job opportunities in the UFC, Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz, Joe Rogan's fighting future, Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, and much more Friday evening at the UFC Fan Expo. more

  • 25 days ago
  • 35 views

UFC President Dana White is apparently willing to sign Cristiane Justino. However, if he does ink “Cyborg” to a deal, he wants you to shut your damn pie-holes.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 11 days ago
  • 103 views

According to UFC President Dana White, “every fighter in the UFC wants to fight in Ireland.” more

  • 11 days ago
  • 676 views

Video: UFC President Dana White recently got the opportunity to sit down and chat with MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba -- a man White dubbed a "national treasure" -- to talk about "Saku's" time with PRIDE Fighting Championships. more

  • 10 days ago
  • 347 views

The last time fans saw Tyrone Spong in action the result was a horrific injury. Now, UFC President Dana White is hinting that the next time we see Spong fight, it could be inside the Octagon.
While speaking at the post-fight press conference for UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao, White surprised everyone by saying "The King of the Ring" Spong was in the building.
"I've got Tyrone Spong back here telling me, ‘Sign me for one fight,'" White said.
Spong last competed under the Glory promotion a more

  • 28 days ago
  • 74 views

UFC President Dana White set the MMA world on fire when he defended the decision of the UFC and Fox Sports to terminate Chael Sonnen's broadcasting contract, but if he plays his cards right, "The American Gangster" could be back. In an interview with MMA Fight Corner's Heidi Fang (at the 5:58 mark), White explained that while the chips are down for Sonnen right now, he could feasibly return to working for the promotion (transcription per Mixedmartialarts.com): "It breaks my heart," [White] said. more