During the UFC 71 post fight press conference Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White confirmed what Josh Gross reported last week, the purchase of Pride Fighting Championships has been finalized.
"We’re still trying to figure out this whole Pride and UFC thing. The deal is done. We acquired the company yesterday or the day before" White told the media at the UFC 71 post fight press conference.
"Talking about all the Pride stuff, we're going to work on that stuff over the next few weeks now that the deal is officially closed. You can't start running a business when you don't own it yet. We've owned it for two days. I know we made the big announcement, but it might have been a little premature. The deal wasn't done yet. The deal was pending, but we were far enough along where we felt comfortable announcing the deal. Now that it's closed two days ago we'll get that straightened out."
Now that the deal is done questions still remain surrounding what Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s plans are for the newly acquired Japanese mixed martial arts promotion. Originally it was announced that the UFC and Pride would be run separately with super fight match ups between champions, that both promotions would co-exist.
Mr. White’s comments concerning the Pride fighters and what he plans to do with them indicate that they will be assimilated into the UFC. White said, "We’re going to have them all. We’re going to have them all. At the end of the day, if you want to fight the best fighters in the world, if you want to cement your place in history, and at the end of the day the money is great, all that stuff is good, but for me I’m one of those types of people it’s all about cementing your place in history. Who is the greatest fighter in every weight division? It’s here. It’s in the UFC. They’re all going to be here."
When asked about two of Pride’s biggest stars- Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko, White said, "We're going to have them all here. He's [Wanderlei Silva] going to be here. They're all going to fight….They're all under contract.”
"We're working on Fedor right now too. We're working on everybody. Everybody means everybody, all of them. We're trying to get them all. They're all going to be here. If not now, eventually we'll have them all."
What about the Pride champions? White addressed that question saying, "I don’t think we should disrespect the guys who have belts in Pride. They were champions in that organization, and they have belts too. We’ve still got to figure this thing out, but at the end of the day the great thing is that the best are going to fight the best. That’s all that really matters at the end of the day."