Fertitta Brothers Purchase PRIDE for Estimated $65 Million

Greg Savage of Sherdog stated earlier today on his radio show that Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, founders of UFC parent company Zuffa LLC, have purchased PRIDE FC for an estimated $65 million.

No other details concerning fighters under contract with PRIDE, a PRIDE merger with the UFC, or anything else have been announced as of yet. Be sure to check back as we will post any new information as soon as we get it…

Update 8:30 PM: It seems that this rumor/report/whatever you want to call it isn’t going to be dying down anytime soon. MMA message boards all over the ‘Net are blazing with threads upon threads on the possible sale of PRIDE to the Fertitta Brothers. I’m sure if we had forums, the same exact thing would be happening.

One of the things I was worried about when making this post was becoming the main source of this rumor/report. What happens if the deal just didn’t happen for some reason? We certainly wouldn’t want to take the blame.

Dann over at UFC Junkie had the same feeling:

Slow down. Take a deep breath. And promise me you won’t go overboard or take this as gospel.

I’m serious now.

Remember: this isn’t a report from, and doubters shouldn’t direct their anger and criticism toward us. We’re just delivering the message.

His words suit what I’m trying to say as well…

Adding more fuel to the fire is Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion who is reporting two very interesting things of note. He reported early this morning that PRIDE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara is traveling to Las Vegas at some point this week. Normally this wouldn’t mean anything but the timing of his travel plans certainly make one thing for a moment.

Even bigger than that is the news that Ed Fishman’s lawsuit against PRIDE parent company DSE may be finalized in the coming days. It might not even have an effect on the possible acquisition of PRIDE anyway. Basically it seems that Fishman is suing DSE for breach of contract so he says, but we all know it’s because they didn’t want to sell the PRIDE product to him. Fishman wants to bring DSE to court, expose all of the things wrong with them, and be on his merry way. At least that’s the way that I’m seeing things.

I understand that many are going to counter this rumor with the fact that Sakakibara has held multiple press conferences in the last week concerning various PRIDE events in the near future. My feeling is that the Fertitta’s will most likely keep PRIDE over in Japan and run it as a separate promotion over there. Why move something when you can just make more money than you would by merging the promotion with one you already have?

Update 9:45 PM: Damon Martin and Jeff Cain of MMA Weekly have confirmed on their radio show that the Fertitta brothers have indeed purchased PRIDE including the fighter contracts, video library, and the name of the organization.

UFC Vets Headline PFC March 22 Card

In just it’s second show; the Palace Fighting Championship is growing into one of the biggest, small shows in the country.

World Extreme Cagefighting veterans Wes Sims, Scott Smith and Lodune Sincaid will headline a 16-bout card on Thursday, March 22nd at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore.

“We are extremely excited to present the next installment of the Palace Fighting Championship. We have put together what we feel is a card that offers fight fans a little bit of everything, the lighter weight guys, some well publicized prospects really taking a step up in competition, notable guys like Wes Sims and Scott Smith who have fought in the highest level shows in the world. We’re very excited and can’t wait for March 22nd,” said Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Entertainment Director Christian Printup.

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Icon Sport: Epic Complete Card Announced

Icon Sport has announced the complete card for Icon Sport: Epic on March 31st…

Frank Trigg vs Robbie Lawler - Icon Sport Middleweight Title
Jason Miller vs Hector Urbina
Renato Verissimo vs Lars Haven
Po’ai Suganuma vs Nathan Carey
Marshall Harvest vs Justin Bucholz
Kala Kolohe Hose vs Ron Verdadero
Kimo Woelfel vs Dereck Keasley
PJ Dean vs Derek Stadler
Thomas Ferguson vs Carvin Mafatau
Devon Damo vs Dwayne Haney
Jay Bolos vs Ryan Lee
Isaiah Cobb-Adams vs Vinny Delos Santos

CKA: Mar 08, 2007

News and Notes

- UFC veteran Joao Pierini is facing two years in prison and life-long registration as a sex offender after pleading no contest to one felony and three misdemeanors counts of child molestation.

- Terry Etim (7-0) has been added to UFC 70: Nations Collide, his opponent is currently unknown.

- Rumors have been circulating stating that former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir has dropped with fight with Antoni Hardonk for unknown reasons. The UFC site has removed Mir’s name from the UFC Fight Night card so it looks like the rumors were valid.

- K-1 veteran Jerome LeBanner has signed a new four-year deal with K-1. The contract is non-exclusive and it will allow LeBanner to pursue MMA in the future.

- Josh Neer, Jason Black and Joe Doerksen will all be fighting on the upcoming PRIDE 34: Kamikaze card.

Video of the Day

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IFL Announces Card for Los Angeles Event on March 17

The International Fight League, the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced the 10-bout card at The Forum in Los Angeles, set for Saturday, March 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature the Condors of Southern California, led by MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Marco Ruas facing off against the fresh strategies of Ken Yasuda’s Sabres, who are based in Tokyo but train in Los Angeles. The second match-up of the night will highlight the skills of the Razorclaws under Frank Shamrock as they take on Bas Rutten and his hometown Anacondas.

Some highlight bouts include a light heavyweight battle between Vladimir Matyushenko of the Sabres and Justin Levens of the Condors, and a lightweight matchup between Josh Odom of the Razorclaws and Chris Horodecki of the Anacondas. Eight of the athletes competing live full-time in Southern California, while several others reside there part-time.

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Dana White Goes Pro

UFC President Dana White received a professional boxing license from the Nevada State Athletic Comission on Monday morning in order to go ahead with his scheduled exhibition boxing match against Tito Ortiz on March 24th.

Some details about the match have been found out: The bout will be three rounds that are three minutes long. There will be a referee officiating the bout and doctors will be on hand. There will be no judges to score the bout since it is an exhibition.

The general public will not able to see the bout wherever it takes place but it is expected that fans will be able to watch it on the internet.

For those who aren’t familar with the background on this story - Ortiz was guaranteed a fight with White when he resigned with the UFC last year. White was an amateur boxer from 1988-1995.

Diaz Fails Post-Fight Drug Test; Tests Positive for Mary Jane

Well this is crazy…

Apparently Nick Diaz has failed the post-fight drug test he took directly after his submission win over PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33: The Second Coming. The Nevada State Athletic Commission stated that he has tested positive for marijuana.

Next comes the standard procedure that we are starting to become all too familar with…

Diaz will have to schedule a hearing with the NSAC if he decides to go against the ruling. He will most likely be suspended for six months, at least that’s what has happened for other athletes who have tested positive for the drug recently. The big question is whether or not this suspension will be issued along with his six month medical suspension or if it will be issued after that.

In case anyone was wondering, all of the other fighters passed their drug tests with flying colors…


Female Fighters Battle for Survival on Episode 4 of BodogFight: St. Petersburg

Some of the world’s toughest women take to the MMA mat in the latest episode of the hit TV series BodogFight: St. Petersburg. This week’s show, airing March 6 at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION Television, features twice the action with not two, but four brutal elimination bouts.

Rosie Sexton will be looking to prove she is one tough mother, literally! Leaving her baby son, Lewis, at home in Manchester, England, the hard-hitting Sexton arrives in Russia eager to trade punches with flamboyant Carina Damm of Brazil. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do (and the only doctor of theoretical computer science ever known to possess a Cage Warriors Women’s Championship belt), Dr. Sexton will need to harness all her brain power to outsmart the tricky Damm, who teaches Jiu-Jitsu and Capoeira with her brother, Rodrigo. Damm’s ferocity and stunning physique have earned her the nickname “Beauty but the Beast”. This fight should not be missed.

Other action includes Tae Kwon Do black belt Julie Kedzie of Indiana locking horns with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Amanda Buckner of Maine. Kedzie confesses she faces one of her MMA idols in Buckner, who has fought and won in numerous competitions including the Rocky Mountain Slammer, Ultimate Athlete, Grapplers Quest, and the Extreme Challenge.

The hits keep coming as tough-as-nails Shayna Baszler of South Dakota stands toe-to-toe with the well-rounded Roxane Modaferri of Massachusetts, while Osaka Judo champion Hitomi Akano takes on fan favorite Tama Chan, with Japanese national pride at stake!

Eric Wray Passes Away

MMA on Tap has learned that Eric Wray died at a California hospital on Wednesday morning from unknown causes. Wray trained with the American Kickboxing Academy out of San Jose. His last fight was in October of last year at Strikeforce: Tank vs Buentello where he was submitted by Jason Von Flue.

Everyone at MMA on Tap would like to send their condolences to the friends and family of Eric Wray…

Lions vs Razorclaws Airs on FSN This Week

The International Fight League, the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and television partner Fox Sports Net will host a family rivalry on Friday night, as Ken Shamrock’s Reno Lions take on the San Jose Razorclaws, coached by his brother Frank, this Friday night. It will be the second of 22 one-hour shows to be seen on FSN.

Start time for the show is 11 p.m. in most markets.

The key matchup in this week’s battle will be between two of the IFL’s rising stars, lightweights John Gunderson and Josh Odom. Gunderson outlasted 150 other contestants in an open tryout to make Ken Shamrock’s team (driving all night from a job in Oregon to the tryout), while Odom, an Army reserve sergeant who served a tour of duty in Iraq, will also be making his IFL debut.

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