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Zuffa is suing former PRIDE owners

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Zuffa is suing former PRIDE owners

Postby qwerty » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:35 pm

Zuffa files suit against former owners of PRIDE
FOXSports.com

Updated: February 6, 2008, 5:27 PM EST

PRIDE Fighting Championships Worldwide Holdings — the company established by Zuffa LLC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta following their purchase of PRIDE last March — filed suit against the former ownership of the now defunct Japanese promotion on Friday.
The lawsuit against Dream Stage Entertainment, Dream Stage Holdings and DSE president Nobuyuki Sakakibara alleges millions of dollars were defrauded from the sale of PRIDE and PRIDE "Bushido" to the Fertittas.





A preliminary legal document obtained by The Fight Network alleges the defendants "failed to cooperate with, submit to or pass such background checks," as required by the plaintiffs in adherence to gaming industry standards. The Fertittas own seven casinos in Las Vegas, as well as majority stake in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Zuffa LLC purchased PRIDE for an estimated $70 million with the stated intention of continuing to operate the promotion as a separate entity. Future plans for PRIDE unraveled quickly.

UFC president Dana White announced in August that his Las Vegas-based company had been unable to secure a television deal for the once-great promotion, revered for its production value and sometimes stellar cards. The sobering news foreshadowed a realization many hardcore PRIDE fans had suspected — that the promotion was unlikely to return any time soon, if ever, to the mixed martial arts market.

"I've pulled everything out of the trick box that I can, and I can't get a TV deal over there with PRIDE," White said. "I don't think they want us there. I don't think they want me there."


White said efforts to bring PRIDE to the United States would not have made good business sense. The promotion made two stops in October 2006 and February 2007 on American soil under the DSE banner.

"The problem is PRIDE was never a big company in the United States, and I'm not going to drop another $44 million to try and straighten it out," White said. "PRIDE is a very powerful brand and we want to keep it alive, but the brand is very tainted, not only over there but over here."

Owned previously by the Japanese-based Dream Stage Entertainment, PRIDE lost a lucrative prime time slot on Fuji TV in the summer of 2006 amid claims the promotion had ties to the Yakuza organized crime circuit. Long thought a cornerstone of the promotion's success and live gates of 50,000 spectators or more, the loss of television exposure proved a catalyst for PRIDE's eventual demise.

In October, remaining employees were reportedly called together for a meeting, as PRIDE FC Worldwide president Jamie Pollack announced, via an international phone call, they had all been discharged from their duties. Reaction to the shutdown was met with anger and resentment by Keiichi Sasahara, a public relations representative for Dream Stage Entertainment.

"I resent having been suddenly betrayed by the American leaders of the people/organization we supported," Sasahara said. "We believed Lorenzo [Fertitta's] words of restoring PRIDE, and we told that same story to the fans that inquired. And for it to suddenly come to this, it really is regrettable."

Sherdog.com reported Tuesday that Sakakibara was preparing a countersuit against Zuffa LLC alleging breach of contract in regards to the Fertittas' decision to shut down PRIDE in October.

— Additional reporting by Loretta Hunt and Gino Mongelli.
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Postby Kensei » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:23 am

And? Who arnt they going to take to court? PRIDE owners, IFL, Randy...who is next?
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Postby donovan99 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:44 am

Hmmm... this isn't too clear... Is the UFC suing because PRIDE has not paid up all the money they owe?

Its a fact that American companies do not fare very well in Asia, because many Asian companies still have feelings of anti-westernization. But then again, hind sight is 20/20!
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Postby Gurre » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:50 am

I mean come on! why are they taking EVERYBODY to court!?
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Postby Kensei » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:44 am

Because they can! :wink:


Actually in this case they have a valid case. I think the Randy law suit is just to push him around a bit. The one with the IFL was just to be a dick! :lol:
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Postby Jons » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:23 pm

donovan99 wrote:Its a fact that American companies do not fare very well in Asia, because many Asian companies still have feelings of anti-westernization.


They also like capitalizing off of other peoples ideas;)
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