Monday, March 26, 2007

Major UFC announcement coming Tuesday

By Mike Chiappetta

PRIDE deal expected to be announced

Lorenzo Fertitta is expected to announce the acquisition of Pride Tuesday morning. Fertitta and his brother Frank are the owners of Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The move has been rumored for months, since the Japan-based mixed martial arts organization suffered major financial losses after the Fuji Network terminated their TV deal in June 2006.

Speculation has heated up in recent weeks, and on several occasions it was reported the deal was at or near completion, but tomorrow's announcement should provide details on whether the two groups will run independently or under the Zuffa banner.

It is expected that the Fertittas will run PRIDE separately from UFC and the organizations will have at least one supercard per year with matches pitting one group's fighters against the other.

Among the PRIDE roster are decorated champions Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Takanori Gomi and Fedor Emelianenko, the man largely considered the best fighter in the world.


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