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Pride Finally Purchased(?)

MMA Weekly, Joe Rogan, and Ed Fishman are all claiming that Zuffa (parent company of the UFC) has purchased Pride for a paltry $65 million. Rumors have been flying since last night and continue to circulate. Nobody seems to know anything for certain, though I’m sure we’ll get confirmation one way or the other within the next two days.

If true…man. That number is WCW buyout embarrassing.

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  1. March 20, 2007 at 6:48 am

    The question is what comes with it. Are they just buying the name? Do all the contracts transfer over? Either way, $65 million for a group that has fallen into 3rd in the race in Japan, lost its tv contract, and shown no ability to break into the US market is a pretty good deal for DSE to get. It seems like if ALL the fighter deals were transfered with the sale that K-1 would have been all over that for more than this price.

    • March 20, 2007 at 7:23 pm

      That’s something I’ve been meanign to look up. Currently I’m under the assumption that unlike with WCW, fighters are contracted to Pride and not their parent company (DSE). I mean, it’s not like they were going to use Fedor in HUSTLE or anything. That being said, I wonder how much good contracts with Pride are, because Fedor’s still under contract with them but taking fights with Bodog. So we’ll see.

      As for $65 million being an adequate price – well, yes and no. I mean, as it stands right now, Pride is probably worth that to DSE due to the stuff you mentioned and it going into some debt. To the potential investor, however, it’s worth a lot more. The only reason they don’t have a television deal is because of the Yakuza scandal and ensuing nonsense, and that subsequently has led to all of the other issues. The feeling has always been that Pride can bounce back in Japan and make some real money as long as they get put under new ownership, which…I guess is happening. Still no official word last I read.

      • March 20, 2007 at 7:51 pm

        Here’s the thing though, if the contracts are not absolutely iron-clad, why spend the money simply for the name and video library? It seems like guys move around a lot and under odd circumstances quite often in Japanese MMA (look at Sakuraba going to K-1). So really, if you have the cash to put on a huge dome show, and can buy Fedor and Shogun and Henderson and Noguiera and all them, just call it FIGHT or something like that, do the same sort of over the top production, and get the PRIDE audience without spending the money to get the name from DSE.

        To me it seems like, again unless everyone there is signed LONG-TERM with PRIDE, that the only people for whom this kind of price is worth it would in fact be UFC, who could leverage the PRIDE name to go truly global and become THE MMA company in the world.

        I just hope the demonic lady ring announcer is part of the purchase. She rules. I want to see her unhinge her jaw, swallow Lillian Garcia whole, and take over Raw announce duties.

      • March 20, 2007 at 9:34 pm

        Hearing her announce The Great Khali’s name would make my life worthwhile.

        As for buying the name…while Fedor’s able to work for Bodog, I imagine while not exclusive the Pride contracts do at least obligate the fighters to a certain number of fights. Again, not sure.

        I really doubt that the only thing UFC bought was the rights to Pride, because Zuffa’s smarter than that. They know they don’t need it. There has to be some sort of advantage to buying out Pride other than intellectual property.

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