Rumors have been flying fast & furious for the last 24 hours that the Fertitta brothers have reached an agreement with DSE to purchase PrideFC for $65MM.
Of course, we all know these rumors have been floating around ever since Pride lost their Fuji TV deal, but they appear to have legs this time. All of the major MMA news sites are reporting that the deal is done and all that remains is for the involved parties to sign on the dotted line.
On the flip side, Pride USA VP Jerry Millen is claiming the reports are bogus. However, the Japanese side of the business remains silent on the issue and Sakakibara is supposedly on his way to the states to finalize the deal.
Regardless of how you feel about each organization, this will be HUGE news in MMA world if the deal goes through.
[i]The rumors swirling around the sale of Pride FC have been ongoing for quite some time, but things flared up again on Monday when Sherdog.com started talking about strong rumors from some of their sources, who said that the deal has finally been struck.
MMAWeekly has confirmed with our own sources, including sources in Japan that are extremely close to the situation, that the deal has indeed been reached. From what we understand, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have come to an agreement that would put Pride in their hands. But remember, that is an agreement, not a finalized transaction. As with any business transaction as complex as the purchase of one company by another, things are never 100% finalized until the proverbial keys to the front door have finally changed hands.
With that said, unless something changes at the eleventh hour, it appears that Pride will soon fall under the ownership of the Fertitta brothers. According to our sources, the purchase is believed to include fighter contracts, Pride?s video library, and the Pride FC name brand. The issue of fighter contracts is one of the more touchy points, as there can be variables in each individual contract that will have to be dealt with, and no information has come forth that states which fighters would be included.
It was not immediately clear when the deal would be announced, although it is believed that Nobuyuki Sakikabara, the President & CEO Of Dream Stage Entertainment (Pride?s present owner), is traveling to the United States this week in regards to matters related to the agreement.[/i]