T Nation

What`s Goin on in American MMA?


I don`t watch the UFC. I live in Japan, so I only watch Pride and K-1.

There was an interview with the President of Pride, Sakakibara. Sakakibara said he has had Talks with the UFC president to do a sort of mma world cup. Top fighters from both Pride and the UFC fight home and away, whoever wins both matches is the World champion. Sakakibara has also offered Pride fighters to UFC, but the offers have not been taken up.

Another thing is Jerome Lebanner`s challenge to Tim Silvia. Jerome fights for K-1 but said he is willing to fight Tim Silvia in the UFC.
I have never seen Silvia fight.

Is there any news of these things in America? What are the reactions?


I wish Pride would absorb the UFC, it would be the best thing for American MMA.


Isn't UFC not up to Pride's level?


I see Royce is fighting Hughes in May. Any thoughts on the outcome?


I don't know how much truth there is behind Pride's claims to have offered up guys to the UFC...Chuck Liddell did a tourney over there while still a part of the UFC with Dana White's blessings, but I have yet to see a top Pride contender come over for a match.


Yea, I don't think anyone outside of those organisations knows the real story. In any sport cross federation stuff is always very difficult to organise. And just because someone says something doesn't mean that they are behind it, or that they don't have a bunch of conditions attached to it.

I mean the big question is, if this were to happen, would it be in a ring or in a cage?


At heavyweight the general consensus is that Pride is superior, but at LHW, MW and WW the top UFC guys could definitely hang.

I would absolutely love to see Wanderlei vs. Chuck, Sherk vs. Gomi, Franklin vs. Henderson etc...

To the original poster, the UFC is trying to gain the kind of legitimacy that boxing has right now, so I think Dana is trying to pretend Pride doesn't even exist to avoid competition.


Hughes by ground n pound.


This is true, UFC won't even mention Pride by name during events.

I recall listening to an interview with the Pride President on Sherdog last year (I believe) and he was mentioning that he wanted to do the Champion vs. Champion matches but Dane White (UFC President) wasn't returning his calls. Too bad, I'd love to see some of the match-ups.


UFC and Pride DID try working together. This was right around the time that UFC sent Liddell over for the tourney. On one of the UFC PPV's, they even announced that Sakuraba was going to fight in UFC. That obviously crashed and burned, and nothing else was ever mentioned by either Pride or UFC.

Pride still suffers from low PPV buy rates here (I've heard as low as 10,000). They have a 'best of' type show on a sports channel, but they never really do much as far as PR. They need to be jumping on the bandwagon, since MMA (UFC mainly) is bringing in a ton of new fans (in large part due to a UFC reality show). Pride was supposed to run a card in Las Vegas...never happened.

K1 has never really caught on big, despite having some live matches on a sports channel here. Same thing as Pride...lack of PR. They've ran some strong cards in Las Vegas, too.

Since the state of California started allowing MMA competitions recently, an independent group drew a huge gate for a show. The last UFC card and the next show is in California. It's probably the huge untapped market for MMA as far as the U.S. I expect California to become the next Las Vegas as far as MMA.


I'd agree with this statement. UFC has no heavyweights that can compete with Pride's top HW, but in the other classes, there would certainly be some toss-up matches like the ones listed above.


yeah i think the biggest question would be which rules to use, pride's which would include kick's/knees to downed opp. and on the ground or UFC's which don't allow that, but allow elbow strikes...


another big thing is UFC's deepest and most talented division is the 170lb class....pride has no 170lb class....

Pride's most talented is prob. HW w/ Fedor, Cro Cop, Big Nog, and Alexs

it would be a dream if both org's top division was in the same weight class, could see some amazing match ups...

i would like to see Chuck fight Wand,Arona, or a healthy Shogun....

would also like to see Rich take on Hendo or Paulo

as far as 155lb UFC really isn't that deep right now since the weight class is just now coming back i guess the only one they could offer is Sherk and Pride has opponets like gomi,pulver, hansen to offer up....


UFC did also send Vitor Belfort (sp?) over for the 2005 GP Tourney. I'm not sure about the 2004 Heavy Weight GP.

As for Califirnia, it's unfortunate that the Pride was unable to get approval to host events with their own rules.

I wonder if the IFL is successful if it wil change the dynamics of MMA in North America?


The president of Pride said one fight in the Pride ring and one in the cage.
Pride has been licensed to have fights in America. BUt no stomps or soccer kicks are allowed.


I think it would be good if Pride went to the American market. I would also like to see more UFC in Japan.
I disagree that Pride has to jump on the MMA bandwagon. Maybe in America, they are trying. Not in the rest of the world though.
Is it not true Pride has/had several of UFC's former champions? Coleman, Frye. Pulver, Randleman, Barnett.
I saw UFC releases the fight money information. They do not make that much money in the UFC. It is a shame Rich Franklin is a champion but makes 30000 dollars a fight. Shogun made much more than that before he won the GP last year.


Sakakibara made his comments Public. In Japan I have not heard any news of a response from the UFC. I was interested in knowing if there was talk of it in America.


Is it really true that the UFC does not mention Pride by name? Why?
In Japan UFC is mentioned. When Belfort came to fight they showed his fight against Silva, knocking Silva out. Same with Chuck Liddel.
No one in Japan has given me the impression that one organization is better. MY former boss would even talk about Randy Couture, he was a big fan of his.
I do think that Pride does not have to worry about losing talent since they pay so well.


That's the issue though, I think the UFC is afraid of losing talent. From what I understand Pride pays waay more than the UFC, so the UFC tries to avoid drawing attention to Pride. UFC does mention Pancrase quite often. Never King of the Cage or other smaller MMA federations.


It is definately unfortunate that UFC does not seem to want to work together to build the business. I mentioned the rumor that Pride fighter's were once going to come over to UFC to a friend and what he heard (take it with a grain of salt since it was various MMA internet sites) was that a couple fighters were to come over arount the time that either Chuck or Vitor went to Pride, but once Dane White found out what he'd have to pay them it broke down and never happened. Gossip, but definately a possibility.

the UFC's lack of desire for competition is also evident in how they tried to hold the new IFL (International Fight League) up in court. Hopefully this will grow quickly since it is well funded and help bring MMA mainstream.