I'm really torn on this one but I think I will have to say mostly happy, especially with an eye to the future.
I loved the fact that there was another company out there who put on great shows and you could pretty much count on two amazing PPV's per month or two.
I also loved the variation of the shows, Pride was all about flash and style, and even a little circus. Some great fighters but nearly every card had some type of freak-show on it. While the UFC was kind of bare bones it had some excellent fights. And instead of the freak-shows it showcased more up and comers.
Coming from a Muay Thai background I really missed elbows in Pride. People say elbows are good for nothing but cuts, I want to ask those people if they have been hit by any elbows. I liked the knees on the ground in Pride but I didn't like the stomps and soccer kicks. So a bit of give and take. Also I prefer the cage to a ring, but it's not really a deal breaker.
I will miss all of that but look at everything that we have coming our way.
1- The Super Bowl cards, and this isn't even the big seller for me.
2- The influx of amazing fighters that were previously languishing in obscurity in Japan (for most casual MMA fans, and this honestly is what it's all about). Most American fans have no clue who lil' Nog, Shogun, Fedor, Hendo, Ayoki, Gomi, Silva, Arona, Barnett and Kang are and the list goes on and on. Those fighters will be seen stateside, bringing in a world of new fans. Look at it like this, if you take the Tier A&B fighters in both Pride and UFC you will have 12-14 stacked, and I mean stacked cards every year. Up and coming fighters can go back to shows like WEC or IFL and hone their skills there while we get amazing quality out of our 40$ PPV. Just think about it, cards like UFC 73 can happen every month. And that's one of the best cards I have ever seen.
I think good days are ahead, it's just going to take us some time to mourn over the lost days of our glorious Pride.