Official PRIDE statement on Mirko


Sakakibara..."Mirko has decided to challenge himself in the UFC in 2007, just as the UFC officially announced today. We support Mirko's desire to challenge himself and we hope that he will be a success as one of PRIDE's top fighters. I think Mirko has left some unfinished business in PRIDE as well, such as rematches with Fedor and Nogueira. So, I anticipate Mirko challenging himself once again in PRIDE after he has taken the UFC Championship belt. For our part, we have decided to accept Mirko's desire and support him as we see him off."


will he take the belt, then go back to pride as ufc champ??

It'd be a new era in MMA if we could start having unified champions.

The chances of Fedor and Nog still fighting in Pride in 2 years time is very slim.

agree w/ jb and hb.

"i would rather imagine them fighting under rules that dont allow safe turtle positions."

I agree too

I'll miss Mirko's soccer kicks...

should do a grand prix kinda thing have a tournament beginning of year then the finalist at the end..each mma org.. should do awesome would this be..

Surely no one honestly believes that Zuffa would write any contract that would allow Mirko to fight for a championship belt and then "take it back to Japan".

example: Brandon Vera situation. Vera is currently "the guy" to fight big Tim for the title in the UFC. However, with only 1 fight left on his current contract, this fight likely won't happen unless Vera resigns with terms more desireable to keeping the title holder in the organization.

So, Mirko may very well fight for, and win the UFC heavyweight belt...but only if circumstances dictate that Zuffa gets their say in what happens to him AFTER he wins the belt (if he wins it).

"CroCrop = Trojan Horse"

lol true

But I'm scared some freaky shit might happen like he might get KTFO'd by some fluke ala Randleman.

Only time will tell..

Can you say 2008 unification of the belt match

Mirko with the UFC belt vs Fedor with the Pride belt

I think the chances of Cro Cop vs. Fedor are much more likely to happen in the UFC than in Pride. CroCop has 6 fights on his UFC contract, whereas Fedor only signs 1 fight at a time with PRIDE. It's just a matter of time before the UFC makes the right offer.

Fedor wont leave Pride and neither will Wandy. They are treated like Jeter and Arod over there by the fans. Management sucks no matter where you go... except the IFL, they are a decent bunch of people (lets see what the $$$ does to them) right now. The IFL is like the old-age home of the MMA world and the younger fighters are like the grandkids visiting...

If Fedor is smart, he'll retire within two years.


"Mirko will prove Pride fighter supremecy like Anderson Silva did."

Just a quick thought: when there's no more PRIDE and just one organization (i.e. UFC) this notion of yours will dissolve.

"Talking about him returning some day to Pride is just spin to try to make the situation seem better than it is".

Definitely, but a few dummies have already fallen for it.

"I wonder if Cro Cop coming to the UFC has much impact on what Brandon Vera is up to with his "negotiations"?

Maybe he'll see it as better to go to Showtime or wherever so he can be the big shark in a really small pond if they look to build an organization around him at heavyweight.

Big roll of the dice though"

Yep, but strategy alone won't sustain Vera's career indefinitely. Sooner or later we'll have to find out what he's made of and that can only be done against guys like Arlovski, Sylvia, Cro Cop and Chug Ly-dell (if he drops to 205).

If he lacks confidence, though, there's no reason to test himself, because the result will be written in the cards already. Only in that case would Big Fish in Small Pond strategy make sense. But in that case he would be admitting a lack of confidence, which might not bode well for him later on in his career.