The Fight for MMA Supremacy: Pride FC or UFC?

Matt HCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2009

One of the things that really bugs me about Mixed Martial Arts is the debate about Pride FC vs. the UFC.

Even after two years, people are still clamoring to say that one organization was better than other, and, quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of it.

So, in the spirit of stupid arguments, lets look at how Pride fighters have done in the UFC and how UFC fighters have done in Pride, to try and end this debate once and for all.

By now, there are enough former Pride fighters and champions fighting in the UFC to at least provide some useful insight.


Pride Fighters in the UFC

Fighters NameRecord in UFC
Wanderlei Silva1-2
Mirko Crocop1-2, Cut from UFC
Antonio Noguiera2-1, Became Interim HW Champ
Anderson Silva8-0, Became MW Champ
Mauricio Shogun Rua0-1
Fabricio Werdum2-2, Cut from UFC
Rameau Thierry Sokodjou1-2, Cut from UFC
Dan Henderson1-2
Marcus Aurelio2-3
Ryo Chonan1-2
Akihiro Gono1-1
Heath Herring2-2
Rampage Jackson4-1, Became LHW Champ
Kazuhiro Nakamura0-2, Cut from UFC
Dean Lister4-2, Cut from UFC
Totals30-25, 22-25 w/o Anderson Silva


It's pretty clear from the table that only two Pride fighters have done well post-Pride: Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson. All other Pride fighters have underperformed in the UFC.

This could be because of rule changes (no soccer kicks or stomps, elbows allowed to the head), environment (a ring versus a cage, a larger fighting area versus a smaller one), no drug testing, or maybe, just maybe, the Pride fighters weren't that good to begin with.


UFC Fighters in Pride

Luckily for us, Pride has been around for several years and many UFC fighters actually jumped ship to fight in Pride. There might actually be more UFC fighters who fought in Pride, than Pride fighters who fought in the UFC.

Fighters NameRecord in Pride
Mark Coleman9-5
Kevin Randleman4-7
Josh Barnett5-4
Vitor Belfort1-2
Chuck Liddell2-1
Murilo Bustamente4-5
Carlos Newton5-4
Jens Pulver2-2
Gan McGee0-2
Sean Sherk1-0
Ron Waterman1-1
Pedro Rizzo0-2
Ricco Rodriguez0-1


So the only fighter who jumped ship to Pride that actually performed well was Mark Coleman.

This could be because of rule changes (soccer kicks or stomps allowed, elbows no longer allowed to the head), environment (a ring versus a cage, a smaller fighting area versus a larger one), no drug testing, or maybe, just maybe, the UFC fighters weren't that good to begin with.


Comparing the Two

With the Pride fighters going to the UFC with records of 30-25, and UFC fighters going to Pride with records of 34-36, it would appear that Pride fighters fighting in the UFC are better than UFC fighters fighting in Pride. Confusing? That's because it's supposed to be.

If you look at the list of UFC fighters who went to Pride, 10 of the 13 listed were champions in the UFC.

If you look at the list of Pride fighters who went to the UFC, three of the 15 were champions. You would expect the UFC fighters to perform better since they were champions in the UFC, but they didn't!

Fighters only fight. Most of them could care less about the organization. Also all organizations have differing rules. The differing rules between organizations make for transitioning from one to the other very difficult.

Not only that, but many of the fighters on both lists fought in the UFC, then Pride, then the UFC again, or vice versa. How do you distinguish a UFC fighter from a Pride fighter? Are there KOTC fighters as well?

The only way a fighter could be considered a "Pride fighter" or a "UFC fighter" is if most of their fights had been in one respective organization.

For almost all of the fighters on the list, you could just as easily call them Pancrase Fighters or RINGS Fighters or KOTC Fighters.

This is why the Pride vs. UFC debate is absolutely pointless. It makes no sense to me.

Please, spare us all and stop with the pointless and stupid comments that this debate seems to spur.

Pride is gone. Let it rest. UFC fighters did just as poorly in Pride as the Pride fighters are doing in the UFC.

I guess comparing fighters irrespective of organization is simply too much to ask of most people.