What happened to Pancrase?

Pancrase used to be one of the top MMA promotions. Lots of great fighters fought their over the years. I'm talking about fighters like Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki, Bas Rutten, Maurice Smith, Guy Mezger, Yuki Kondo, Ikuhisa Minowa, Semmy Schilt, Nathan Marquardt, and Josh Barnett to name a few.

I haven't heard anything about Pacrase in a few years. What happened to this promotion? Are they even still in business? When was their last show?

 Pancrase was a legit top tier MMA promotion in the original era of MMA. I'd argue that it had a more talented, deeper roster than the UFC did from 1993-1996. It fell off because of the crazy pro wrestling style schedule it demanded from its fighters. They burned out their top stars because of the gigantic workload (see Funaki and Suzuki for best examples) and eventually couldn't afford to pay their top guys. Pancrase figured it would be more profitable to pay lower salaries to lesser fighters and become a lower MMA promotion.

Now let's see how many morons come on here and say the majority of Pancrase was worked. Igornant, ill-informed imbeciles.

 Pancrase is still going strong holding events on a regular basis.

And even though they lose a lot of their best fighters to other organizations, they still have some very quality fighters and events

^ No not the majority of them. But I won't lie and say I wasn't disappointed when I borrowed a load of Pancrase VHS tapes from a friend (around '99 or'00) and saw that SOME were worked matches.

It was more 'proto-MMA' than MMA in retrospect. The small differences in the rules added up to a very different fighting sport IMO. It was actually far more exciting in many ways than true MMA. I'm a big fan.