Monday, February 19, 2007

PRIDE's Future

By Loretta Hunt

Casino entrepreneur Ed Fishman is still in the hunt to purchase the ailing Japanese promotion, either partially or in its entirety. Fishman said he will resume talks with Nobuyuki Sakakibara this Tuesday, against the backdrop of this weekend’s PRIDE 33. Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Sakakibara is believed to be the majority owner of the PRIDE brand and its assets.

“I don’t want this sport to become a monopoly. It will lead to lower paydays for the fighters,” commented Fishman, who identified Zuffa LLC., the promoters of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as the other main player competing for the purchase of PRIDE at this time. (UFC officials have not publicly verified this claim.)

Fishman adds that if an arrangement can not be reached with Sakakibara, he will seek to start his own MMA promotion and actively pursue the world’s top talent once their contracts allow them.

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