Pride Fighting Is Dead and Has Been for Five Years, Get over It Already
In 2007 Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, purchased Pride Fighting Championships.
The plan was simple—take control of their biggest rival and run the organization themselves. They'd corner the market on MMA by owning the two biggest promotions at the same time.
But there was a problem.
The previous owners had ties to the Yakuza. When this information became public, the company began to lose sponsors, television deals and public acceptance. The company began hemorrhaging money which lead to the eventual sale.
When Zuffa bought Pride, they bought Pride's problems too.
With no Japanese company willing to sponsor the promotion, it was hard to get the money together for a show. When no channel would air anything they put together, it became impossible.
Pride was eventually folded into the UFC in October 2007, marking the death of the organization and one of the worst investments that Zuffa ever made.
Now, in 2012, people still talk about Pride and how great the organization was. There are still discussions about how the company shouldn't have been folded and how it never should have been sold.
There are even people who think that the end of Pride meant the end of MMA's greatest era.
Those people are living in the past.
Pride has been dead for nearly five years. In that time, the UFC has exploded, putting on more fights, more shows and jumping to one of the biggest broadcasting networks in the world.
It's safe to say MMA is doing just fine.
To those who still claim Pride is the best, take a look at Japanese MMA today. Dream (or Zombie Pride to some) is still alive, but barely, as are Pancrase and Shooto, while Sengoku died quietly last year.
If Pride hadn't sold and folded into the UFC, it wouldn't have fared well. It would have slowly crumbled without sponsors or just flat out ceased to exist with its talents spread randomly throughout the world.
Zuffa's purchase was a fitting end for the organization. It gave its fighters a chance to continue on and keep fighting. It also brought the biggest names in MMA together and let them finally meet.
While Pride will be remembered by MMA fans for a long time, it is time to stop being nostalgic. It is time to accept the truth and move on.
Pride is dead.
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