Monday, January 29, 2007

Pride: fighters should learn English

Sakakibara says he has not abandoned Japanese market

It is becoming evermore clear that the principal axis of world MMA is moving from Japan to the United States, as you can read about in NOCAUTE #48, on sale now throughout Brazil. So much so that Pride’s directors are putting more and more effort into conquering the American market, as they put on more events in the land of Uncle Sam in 2007. The dedication to the task is such that Pride’s president, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, revealed that he requested that their fighters learn to speak English, so as to bring themselves closer to the fans in the United States.

“The general public in the United States is starting to understand MMA. It is similar to what happened in Japan five, six years ago,” said Sakakibara.

The intense devotion to events to take place in North America has been provoking reactions from the Japanese press, so much that Sakakibara made a point of stating that he is not abandoning his country of origin: “We have no intention of neglecting the Japanese market. We have to get back on network television this year. That is one of our greatest objectives.”


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