Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dana White: On Pride

There was a time when PRIDE put on the best MMA shows on Earth - event/spectacles so spectacular that even now, with PRIDE bought and shuttered nearly five years ago, many fans still say "PRIDE never die."
The UFC is returning to Japan at next weeks UFC 144, and some fans hope this will be a chance to ressurect that PRIDE look and feel, and try to win back a share of the record-setting 70,000 people that turned out to watch Pride Shockwave live in 2002.
That's not happening.
"Do I think this is going to be a PRIDE event and 100,000 people are going to show up, and it's going to be like that?" UFC President Dana White asked. "No, I don't think that. But I think that there is a fanbase there for the UFC.
"People keep asking me, 'Oh, will you play the PRIDE music? Will you do?' No, this isn't PRIDE. It's the UFC. The UFC is coming to Japan, and what the people in Japan are going to see is what they see on television, if they're UFC fans."
"We're going to slowly try to build that market back up, and we'll see what happens. There's no pro wrestlers, and you're not going to see some 400-pound dude fighting a 100-pound dude. None of that stuff's going to happen. The UFC is going to go in there, and we have fans there already. Those fans are going to show up."
"The one thing I know is that whether we put on a FUEL TV fight on Omaha, Neb., in front of 7,000 people or we do a 56,000-seat arena in Toronto, we put on one of the best live shows there is in sports. We're going to go in and hit that market like we do every other market, and people are going to leave that arena that night, and they're going to have seen a great show."
by Dann Stupp and John Morgan |

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