Nobuyuki Sakakibara

PRIDE: Changes on the Horizon

Gong Magazine has issued a report stating that Pride Fighting Championships will be undergoing big changes in the near future.

Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that the Pride Bushido series will be discontinued and instead the fights will be combined with regular Pride shows. Also Sakakibara broke news that the Pride Grand Prix for any given weight class will only be held once every four years.

One thing that was not mentioned was a TV deal. The company has yet to land a deal which would give them exposure after they were dropped by Fuji TV.

Pride Talks The Real Deal, Liddell-Silva

Pride held yet another press conference yesterday discussing details about their upcoming US debut in October…

We already learned about the announcements of Josh Barnett-Pawel Nastula and Mark Hunt-Eric Esch yesterday. Dream Stage CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that some more fights will be named later this week and the rest of the card will be revealed at the end of the month.

It’s interesting to note that because the event is taking place in Nevada, the rules will be similar to those that the UFC uses with a couple of changes. The fight will obviously take place in a ring rather than the UFC’s famed octagon. As it pertains to striking, there will be no elbows to the head permitted while on the ground. Kicking or kneeing of a downed opponent will be illegal as well despite that it is usually allowed in Pride events.

No shoes or Gi’s are allowed to be worn. The fights will be three five-minutes rounds instead of Pride’s usual one ten minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. The event will be four hours long and will be broadcast on PPV and the web.

Even more interesting then those announcements is the fact that Sakakibara was willing to talk about Silva-Liddell and the current status of the possible matchup. ..

“Speaking on behalf of Pride, we are ready anytime. Also, Wanderlei is ready. We just need the doctor’s confirmation regarding his injury from last week. We are still waiting for the UFC’s response. Mirko even said that if Wanderlei is not ready to fight in November, he would fight in his place. In some interviews, Mr. Dana White stated that this fight won’t happen. However, speaking from Pride’s side, we are ready.”

Hey, that’s not what Dana said!

I really don’t know which side to believe. I want to side with Dana and the UFC seeing how Pride has screwed over other promotions before by pulling crap like this whole saga. I wonder what he will have to say about this.

Even though Dana already said that Silva shouldn’t get a shot at Chuck Liddell because he was destroyed by Mirko Cro Cop, there is still room for things to happen. Dana’s right - Silva shouldn’t get Chuck after that massacre.

But if what Dana said at UFC 61 is true - They were supposed to have Wanderlei for three fights - Why don’t they have Wanderlei face someone else, like Babalu or Forrest for example. This way Tito can get his title shot and providing Chuck and Wanderlei both win, they can meet after that.

I’m such a genius…

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