There really is something special about how the Japanese present their MMA shows. My interest in MMA started with the UFC but what made me love MMA was PRIDE FC back in the day.
The PRIDE era for me represented the Golden Age of MMA. They did a lot things that were very groundbreaking, so much so that they became the template for other Asian orgs like Dream and Rizin. I loved how they felt similar to the UFC yet very different at the same time.
I really believe that the fighters should be the centerpiece of an org. PRIDE’s opening ceremonies were the perfect platform for them to introduce their new talents, and further elevate the stature of their superstars. It gives you the feeling of seeing gladiators fight which I think is kinda cool lol. Check out these videos and you’ll see what I mean:
Final Conflict 2005
Plus that theme is just amazing!
Add things like yellow cards, tournaments, Lenne Hardt, Openweight fights, soccer kicks, and you got a great product. It’s a shame that they had issues with the Yakuza and eventually died out.
Any other fans of PRIDE here?