With the latest confirmation of the M-1 New Year's Eve show at the Saitama Super Arena coming and it's obvious connections with ex-Pride officials, there are some interesting thoughts and questions that come up:
This is event is "supported by M-1 Global" with the help of former Pride staff. Reported to be involved: Takada, Sasahara, Saeki, Lenny Hardt, Kei Grand, Daisuke Sato, and others. (What?! No Jerry Millen?!)
Takada was the "face" of Pride in many ways and I find this next picture especially interesting:
Takada and Fedor, flanked by the other great Japanese fighters, all in front of the M-1 logo.
This M-1 supported show secured SkyPerfect TV PPV but will not be shown on free TV as of yet. I heard that there is a possibility but that could be pure speculation.
SCHEDULED TO FIGHT:
Fedor Emelianenko, Shinya Aoki, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gilbert Melendez, Hayato Mach Sakurai, Hidehiko Hasegawa, Ricardo Arona, Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen and Luis Azeredo.
Mixfight.ru reports that Aleksander and Roman Zenstov will also be on the card.
THE BARNETT QUESTION
"There are negotiations going on with other famous ex-Pride fighters who would contribute to the event."
Could we see other ex-Pride fighters come out of the woodwork for an event like this? Fighters who have fallen in love with the Japanese style of event and who perhaps feel burned by the UFC? A fighter like Josh Barnett? Who knows, he's never seen a stage or a microphone that he didn't like and this show will undoubtably be HUGE in the press. I would not be surprised to see Barnett's name on the card.
Which begs, would he fight Fedor?! Fedor is said to be fighting Choi but he is not listed on the official site:
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OTHER PRIDE CONNECTIONS:
The logo here is on the Pride Official website and is copyrighted by DSE:
Go ahead, right click it and look at the address.
The only difference from that and the M-1 supported logo is the "?" instead of the "!" and the spots being arranged differently.
The event name "Yarennoka" translates into, "can you do it?"
And the logo itself was pointed out: "Take notice of the NYE logo for Yarennoka, which uses the exact same font as the past DSE-produced Otoko Matsuri shows did. Furthermore, the web page for Yarennoka is only a slightly modified format as compared to the old PRIDE web site."
Also notice that on all the official banners and websites it says "supported by M-1 Global."
When asked, even Fedor said, "Pride was a great organization with the best fighters and I believe that now M-1 Global will become new Pride
And again, before I go any further, know that much of what will truly happen unknown and I get that. But what IS known has made a lot of exciting questions arise. You can flame if you like but much of the above is simply many different sources together in one post so that you can make your own assumptions.
But with all this going on... it makes me wonder what M-1 is up to.
Will they support more of these types of events around the globe?
Could they possibly "support" a Japanese staff dedicated to making high end shows like Yarennoka?
Could they hire a man like Takada to be the face of the Japanese events?
And the final clue.... would Takada wear his underwear and bang a drum?
If that happens.... the spirit of Pride TRULY never die.