Nobuyuki Sakakibara

The Daily Recap: Strikeforce Medical Suspensions, Grispi-Roop Tapped for June & More


Fedor Emelianenko. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— Following his shocking loss to Antonio Silva, Fedor Emelianenko has been medically suspended indefinitely by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. He will not be permitted to compete until he's cleared by a doctor after an upcoming CT scan of his head and face. However, he did not suffer a broken orbital bone as widely speculated. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will also be sidelined for a mandatory 30 days following his KO loss to Sergei Kharitonov. [MMAJunkie.com]

— A featherweight bout between one-time planned title contender Josh Grispi and "TUF" alumnus George Roop has been booked for the TUF 13 Finale in Las Vegas on June 4. Grispi had a ten-fight winning streak snapped by Dustin Porier at UFC 125 on Jan 1, while Roop suffered a one-sided loss to Mark Hominick just days later at UFC Fight for the Troops II. [MMA Mania]

Continue reading "The Daily Recap: Strikeforce Medical Suspensions, Grispi-Roop Tapped for June & More"

CKA: April 7, 2008 (Updated)

Forrest Griffin was always crazy, even in high school.

Props to frankiscool at the UG for the find.

Sakakibara, DSE Sue Fertittas, Zuffa

Two months after Zuffa, under the name PRIDE FC Worldwide, filed a lawsuit against former PRIDE parent company Dream Stage Entertainment claiming that they were defrauded during their purchase of PRIDE in March of last year, DSE and Nobuyuki Sakakibara have countered with a lawsuit of their own.

The news comes from Adam Swift of MMA Payout and Sherdog.com, who reports that the suit was filed in Las Vegas District Court on April 2nd.

More from Swift:

The suit filed by the former owners of Pride in federal court, under diversity jurisdiction, seeks damages for breach of the asset purchase and consulting agreements that were part of the Pride transaction, as well as fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The complaint alleges that Pride was sold to the owners of the UFC with the promise that the Pride brand would be maintained as a “global top-level brand.” This promise allegedly resulted in the former owners’ decision to sell to the Fertittas despite more lucrative financial offers from other suitors.

DREAM Planning Events on U.S. Soil?

DREAM could potentially hold shows in the United States if the promotion eventually gains the popularity that PRIDE once had as well as a television deal according to Fight Entertainment Group figurehead Sadaharu Tanikawa.

From MMA Weekly:

FEG executive, Sadaharu Tanikawa stated that their hopes are to first establish a brand name in Japan before trying their hand in the United States. Tanikawa went on the record saying that it would take “maybe a year or two” for the new Dream promotion to gain the same strength among fans that the former Pride brand did before their demise.

With DREAM and HDNet already in talks about a possible deal, Tanikawa’s idea could become a reality sooner than later, especially if they could come to some sort of a deal with EliteXC or HDNet Fights to get some notable American names on the card.

Sakurai-Baron Set for Shooto Fight in May

Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will attempt to keep his current five-fight winning streak intact when he takes on fellow PRIDE veteran David Baron at a Shooto event in May according to a report from Sports Navi.

Sakurai stopped Hidetaka Monma with strikes at DREAM’s inaugural event last month. Baron, who is mostly known for his loss to Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 12 in the summer of 2006, has won his last three fights since then.

Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.

Emerson Replaces Stephens at UFC 84

Update 2:30 PM ET: Our friends at MMA Junkie have learned that a possible “minor legal situation” may be preventing Stephens from fighting on the card but he expects to return to action this summer.

Sam Cupitt over at Five Ounces of Pain has noticed that Rob Emerson, a contestant on the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, has replaced Iowa native Jeremy Stephens in a scheduled lightweight bout against Terry Etim at UFC 84: Ill Will according to the UFC’s official website.

It was reported back in February that Etim and Stephens had signed bout agreements, making the fight good to go. No word as of yet on why Stephens was forced out of the bout.

Zuffa Lawsuit Against DSE to Head to Court


From the press conference to announce Zuffa’s purchase of PRIDE in March 2007. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The lawsuit that Zuffa, under the name PRIDE FC Worldwide, the financial holdings company created by Ultimate Fighting Championship owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta following the purchase of the assest of PRIDE Fighting Championships in March of last year, filed against former PRIDE parent company Dream Stage Entertainment will likely head to a Las Vegas court room in the coming months.

The news comes from Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion, who reports that PRIDE FC Worldwide’s counsel filed a motion that demands a trial by jury in their case against Nobuyuki Sakakibara and DSE.

Arnold also stated that neither Sakakibara nor the company have responded to the lawsuit as of yet, just as an attorney has not been named to represent them.

The lawsuit centers around Zuffa’s claim that they were “defrauded” out of millions of dollars following the purchase of the Japanese promotion nearly a year ago. The lawsuit has since been confirmed as being filed on February 1st.

Rumors have also been circulating that Sakakibara is preparing to file his own lawsuit against Zuffa amidst claims that their decision to shut down the PRIDE brand late last year is a breach of the contract they agreed upon prior to DSE selling the rights to the brand.

Zuffa Files Lawsuit Against DSE


Lorenzo Fertitta and Nobuyuki Sakakibara shake hands at a press conference to announce Zuffa’s purchase of PRIDE in March 2007. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Zuffa, under the name PRIDE FC Worldwide, the financial holdings company created by Ultimate Fighting Championship owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta following the purchase of the assest of PRIDE Fighting Championships in March of last year, has filed a lawsuit against former PRIDE parent company Dream Stage Entertainment.

The news was first reported yesterday by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer, who states that the lawsuit centers around Zuffa’s claim that they were “defrauded” out of millions of dollars following the purchase of the Japanese promotion nearly a year ago:

Pride FC Worldwide Holdings (basically the dummy company set up by UFC after the Pride purchase) have filed a lawsuit against Dream Stage Entertainment, Dream Stage Holdings and Nobuyuki Sakakibara claiming they were defrauded millions of dollars in the purchase of the Pride and Pride Bushido brands.

The lawsuit has since been confirmed as being filed on February 1st.

Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion points out that Zuffa’s due diligence done after the purchase of PRIDE most likely catch many of the potential problems during the evaluation of the PRIDE’s assets. Be sure to check out his post for more words of wisdom on the matter.

Even more interesting, a source close to DSE has told Sherdog that former PRIDE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara is preparing to file his own lawsuit against Zuffa amidst claims that their decision to shut down the PRIDE brand late last year is a breach of the contract they agreed upon prior to DSE selling the rights to the brand.

We will definitely be following this story and will post any new information as it becomes available.

M-1 The New PRIDE? I’m Not Sure

When news broke yesterday that Fedor has signed with M-1 and M-1 was recently purchase by an unknown American company, thoughts of Ed Fishman and this new PRIDE that everyone was talking about flashing through my head.

Now I’m not sure that’s the case.

Many rumors have been swirling around today varying from Nobuyuki Sakakibara to Shane McMahon being part of the group that purchased M-1. Who the hell knows at this point.

However the infamous Zach Arnold has revealed details on a new Japanese promotion forming as we speak:

A press release was sent out to members of the Japanese media today (not on a public scale, but specifically addressed to members of the Japanese press) for a new company called World Victory Road Inc. in Japan. The press release states that there will be a press conference on the 2nd floor of Tokyo’s Prince Hotel on the 15th (this Monday at 3 PM JST). The press release states that representatives from Don Quijote (one of PRIDE’s former sponsors and current sponsor of Kazuhiro Nakamura) and FILA are expected to be in attendance. The most interesting name listed as a guest for the press conference is Chairman Fukuda of the Japanese wrestling association. He was a figurehead that PRIDE tried to recruit before that organizaton hit troubled times. Also on the guest list is Mr. Kinoshita of the Kinoshita Group, a construction company.

Interestingly enough, the cell phone number at the bottom of the private press release belongs to an employee of J-ROCK, the management group of Hidehiko Yoshida. One media source claims that a top figurehead for the new organization is former UFC-Japan promoter, Akira Sakata.

Big news for Japanese fans right there.

As far as M-1 goes, Sherdog has some more information on the promotion and an official announcement:

Sherdog.com has learned the new organization will run under the M-1 Global moniker and plans to promote shows in Russia, Japan and the United States with the first event possibly coming to fruition as soon as New Year’s Eve.

A news conference has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 23 in New York City to announce the signing as well as to introduce the new promotion to the media.

Report: PRIDE Purchase Completed

Sherdog is reporting that via two different sources, the purchase of PRIDE by Zuffa has been completed. This goes against earlier reports from a few weeks back that said the sale was not going to happen after Jamie Pollack, the future president of PRIDE quickly came back to Las Vegas after moving him and his family over to Tokyo.

On March 27, Station Casinos Vice Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White announced in a Tokyo press conference that the sale of the PRIDE Fighting Championships to Zuffa had been agreed upon, and that the deal would be consummated on May 1.

Yet three weeks after the consummation date, the deal was slow to close, as Zuffa attorneys did their due diligence on PRIDE assets. In a conference call with the media on Thursday,White denied that the deal had been closed.

However, two sources tell Sherdog.com that the deal has in fact been finalized, and that former PRIDE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara has said as much too former DSE employees in the last 48-hours.

Another interesting point made in the report is that Dana White is unaware of the possibility of a class action lawsuit being filed against PRIDE and DreamStage Entertainment by various former PRIDE fighters and employees.

Citing Issues with several PRIDE fighter contracts, on Wednesday MMAWeekly.com reported that there is a class action lawsuit on behalf of PRIDE fighters looking to get out of their contracts. White, in a conversation with the media on Thursday afternoon, denied any knowledge of the dispute.

Be sure to stay with us for continuing coverage on this matter…

PRIDE LW GP Put On Hold

Dream Stage Entertainment has issued a press release announcing the postponement of the opening round of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix.

“As we’re in the midst of transferring business assets between both companies, we have decided that only one month to prepare for the 5/20 event is not enough time to organize the production and promote the event in a manner that reflect our first PRIDE event for the fans”

A new date for the PRIDE LW GP will be announced at another time.

PRIDE Announces Yvel vs Shoji

Today at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan DSE president Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that Wanderlei Silva could not gain medical clearance from the NSAC. He also announced that Akira Shoji would face Gilbert Yvel on 24 hours notice.

DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that he will try to bring in one or even two additional “surprise” matches to keep the fans happy. As well, an eighth official match was announced featuring 10-year PRIDE veteran Akira Shoji, and the ever-dangerous Holland striker Gilbert Yvel. Shoji personally asked DSE President Sakakibara to be in this 10-year commemoration event, and he learned he would be fighting a short 24-hours before the event is to take place.

UFC/PRIDE Conference Call Transcript

After purchasing PRIDE Fighting Championship, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White, and former owner Nobuyuki Sakakibara fielded questions from the press concerning the future of PRIDE, the rules and more.

Question: Can you explain what will Pride and the UFC look like after this?

Dana White: They are going to be completely separated. The UFC will run separately from Pride. Most of the employees are still in place at Pride and we are going to continue to run them as competitors and two separate entities.

Question: But there will be mega-fights and fighters and champions (from the UFC and Pride) going against each other at some point?

White: That’s what we are talking about. Obviously, there is a lot that needs to be worked out. What we would like to see, finally, is the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts where we could, finally, line up all the guys in all the different weight classes to fight each other and see who the best in the world is. We’d do that once a year. We don’t know exactly how that will be done, yet. But that’s what we are thinking about doing.

The full transcript can be found at ocregister.com.

Pride’s Official Announcement

From the PrideFC website...

Dream Clash between PRIDE and UFC! Steps Finally Taken Towards MMA Version of the World Series As DSE CEO Sakakibara Resigns; New PRIDE Owner Lorenzo Fertitta Takes Office 
On Tuesday, March 27th, at the Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo, PRIDE Executive Director Nobuhiko Takada and UFC President Dana White appeared together to announce that the two largest MMA organizations in the world, America’s UFC and Japan’s PRIDE FC, will finally come to blows.

Since the dawn of the sport, PRIDE FC and the UFC have continued to be the driving forces behind mixed martial arts. Under the new leadership of PRIDE owner Lorenzo Fertitta, the MMA world is one step closer to determining who truly is the world’s toughest man. This momentous event will similarly resemble baseball’s World Series, soccer’s World Cup, and football’s Super Bowl.

In addition, DSE President and CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that his resignation from PRIDE FC will take place immediately after PRIDE.34, scheduled to take place April 8th at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Lorenzo Fertitta will assume Mr. Sakakibara’s responsibilities as PRIDE’s new owner.

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