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 PRIDE’s 16-Man LW GP Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing

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JoeDaddy
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PostSubject: PRIDE’s 16-Man LW GP Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing   Sun 15 Apr 2007, 2:31 pm



PRIDE’s 16-Man Lightweight Grand Prix Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing?

PRIDE Fighting Championships May 20 show at the Saitama Super Arena has been postponed, according to a press release issued by Dream Stage Entertainment. The organization’s outgoing ownership group, which will be replaced by UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta before the end of the month, recently made the announcement on its Web site.
The event was expected to host the first round of PRIDE’s 16-man Lightweight Grand Prix tournament, which was rumored to include such UFC notables as Diego Sanchez and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes.

Grand Prix MMA tournaments are nothing new to PRIDE. The organization has used weight classes, as well as open-weight formats, for previous tournaments in past years. The tournament rounds are held over multiple events until one winner remains. Recent UFC heavyweight acquisition Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was the organization’s Open-Weight Grand Prix winner in 2006.

Just prior to last weekend’s UFC 69 event, a purported promotional poster issued by PRIDE had been making the rounds on the Web. UFC fans quickly noticed that Sanchez and Hughes — two of the organization’s top ranked welterweights — were among the fighters featured. Soon after, design elements from the poster appeared on PRIDE’s Web site, which seemed to confirm the list of competitors.

The postponement of the tournament was made because of the difficulty in transferring assets to the new ownership group headed by the Fertittas. Official announcement of PRIDE’s sale came on March 27, and the transfer of assets was targeted for a completion date of May 1. However, the new ownership group (named PRIDE FC Worldwide) felt that the timetable left little time to appropriately promote the event.
According to the press release,


“As we’re in the midst of transferring business assets between both companies, we have decided that only one month to prepare for the 5/20 event is not enough time to organize the production and promote the event in a manner that reflect our first PRIDE event for the fans.
“The new date for the Lightweight GP Opening Round will be announced at another time.”
According to the Wrestling Observer, the decision was made primarily by Lorenzo Fertitta:

Lorenzo Fertitta made the decision to cancel the 5/20 Pride show at the Saitama Super Arena since they simply didn’t have enough time to take over and get organized enough for a debut show under new management by that time.


Other fighters appearing on the poster included Shinya Aoki, Marcos Aurelio, Luiz Azeredo, Luiz Firmino, Takanori Gomi, Joachim Hansen, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gilbert Melendez and Hayato Sakurai. Pancrase veteran Satoru Kitaoka earned an automatic bid into the tournament by winning a DEEP tournament on Friday.

Their status for a future show isn’t known. Additionally, the UFC has made no official announcement regarding Hughes and Sanchez’s status in the tournament.

When the tournament does begin, it’s expected that it will be held under the UFC’s set of rules. UFC president Dana White recently stated that PRIDE and UFC would use the same set of rules that are currently used in UFC events. However, PRIDE will continue to use a ring, while the UFC will use its usual Octagon.

The cross-promotion cooperation should be one of the benefits of PRIDE’s recent sale.
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Andy
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PostSubject: Re: PRIDE’s 16-Man LW GP Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing   Sun 15 Apr 2007, 2:41 pm

I love GP's, true warriors will stop at nothing to compete with the best, I would love to see Hughes and Gomi fight!!
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PostSubject: Re: PRIDE’s 16-Man LW GP Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing   Mon 16 Apr 2007, 8:59 pm

I really like the GPs also. We always get a huge upset in almost all of them

I'd really like to see Hayato Sakurai upset Hughes and get a rematch against Gomi.

We also can't forget Joachim Hansen, he's one hell of a fighter

I see the final four being
Takanori Gomi
Hayato Sakurai
Joachim Hansen
Matt Hughes

Then we have Hansen vs Gomi for the rematch and Hughes vs Sakurai for teh major upset

Gomi vs Sakurai in the finals or Gomi vs Hughes would be awesome
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PostSubject: Re: PRIDE’s 16-Man LW GP Postponed; Hughes and Sanchez Competing   Mon 16 Apr 2007, 11:50 pm

Rampage will beat Liddell wrote:
I really like the GPs also. We always get a huge upset in almost all of them

I'd really like to see Hayato Sakurai upset Hughes and get a rematch against Gomi.

We also can't forget Joachim Hansen, he's one hell of a fighter

I see the final four being
Takanori Gomi
Hayato Sakurai
Joachim Hansen
Matt Hughes

Then we have Hansen vs Gomi for the rematch and Hughes vs Sakurai for teh major upset

Gomi vs Sakurai in the finals or Gomi vs Hughes would be awesome

That would be a badass final four!!!
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