UFC president Dana White is not ruling out a Pride Fighting Championship revival in the future.
Speaking with Sun Media’s Scrapyard, White says he is pleased with the response to the historic Pride fights that have begun airing on SPIKE-TV Friday nights and if a growing number of fans tune in, a live Pride event may happen.
“You never know, anything is possible,” said White when asked if he’d consider hosting an event or two in a ring under the Pride brand.
“For its time slot on Friday night, the first episode pulled a good rating so we’re excited about that. We’re hoping that series will continue to do well.”
The UFC purchased Pride — considered by some the only real competitor to the UFC — in 2007 but was met with a hostile business climate in Japan when it tried to run the promotion. The promotion closed its offices in Japan in late 2007 and its stable of fighters were either signed to the UFC or dismissed outright.
“I don’t want to say the Pride name is dead. It’s still a strong powerful brand. But the reality is that us running Pride in Japan, that completely fell apart.”
Many of the UFC’s top fighters — including Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cro-Cop — moved from Pride to the UFC after purchase.
Pride became famous with fight fans for its Grand Prix tournament-style fights as well as yellow cards — similar to those given in soccer — that were shown to fighters who were too inactive or disengaged in their fights.
There were subtle rule changes between Pride and the UFC and Pride was fought in a ring instead of an Octagon.
Primarily based Japan, Pride did hold two events in the United States.