Friday, February 16, 2007

This is what PRIDE is all about

MMA. Not long ago it was relegated to small satellite pay-per-views in the US and something that they did over in Japan. Today MMA is everywhere: in our stores, on our magazine racks and even in our electric boxes called TV. For the US, the largest share of the market has been US-based MMA and its stars. Chances are that many of those that casually watch fights on TV or browser a magazine in the bookstore are unaware that while the explosion may have hit the US shores, MMA is still king in Japan.

MMA is at its root an international affair where the worldwide scene is just as important as the local. Even the large US-based group uses many talents from abroad. Fighters come from all corners of the globe to be seen, heard, and glorified by their conquests. To achieve these things these fighters must have a stage. However, just as all actors wish to be seen on the silver screen of Hollywood film, these fighters dream of performing on the largest stage. The largest stage in this sport is PRIDE.

The best in the world strive to find their way into the PRIDE ring, if only for one shot, to show that they are one of the best in the world. Olympic and top athletes from all sports like –the NFL, Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling, Judo, and Kickboxing- are center stage battling it out to be number one. And in the end, if you are a competitor and you want to be the best, you have to search out and face the best. That's why we come to PRIDE.

Even though we as fighters strive to topple our opponents and stand high above the field of competitors as an athlete, we are also entertainers. Everyone who pays for a ticket or orders a pay-per-view is paying for entertainment, and PRIDE with its incredible production gives the viewer something they can't get anywhere else. As a fighter, it's awe inspiring to me. Every time that opening ceremony starts up and the PRIDE theme kicks on, I am ready to fight right then and there. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck and I can feel a rush of energy from everyone in the arena. Even after fighting in these amazing shows, I get that same rush just being a part of the audience and watching. PRIDE live is truly an experience.


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