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Pride held more than sixty mixed martial arts events, broadcast to about 40 countries worldwide. However, such an arrangement did not materialize, and in October , Pride Worldwide's Japanese staff was laid off, marking the end of the organization as an active fight promoter. As a result, many of the Pride staff left to form a new organization alongside K-1 parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group.

That new organization, founded in February , was named Dream. In , Pride's co-founder and former president Nobuyuki Sakakibara established Rizin Fighting Federation in Japan with the same philosophy and ambition as for the defunct Pride organization. The precursors of Pride were the Japanese mixed martial arts competitions UWF International founded in and Pancrase founded in The success of the first event enabled its promoters to hold a regular series of mixed martial arts events, and a year later in , to promote a rematch between Takada and Gracie.

Following the fourth event, the series was taken over by the Dream Stage Entertainment , formed by the members of the dissolved KRS, and it was accordingly renamed as the Pride Fighting Championships, with Morishita as its first chairman. In , Pride hosted the first Pride Grand Prix , a two-part openweight tournament held to find the "world's best fighter". The tournament was held over the course of two events, with sixteen fighters competing in an opening round and the eight winners returning three months later for the final round. The second round of the tournament marked the first time Pride was broadcast in the United States and featured American fighter Mark Coleman winning the tournament by defeating Igor Vovchanchyn in the final round.

In Pride introduced the Bushido series of events, which focused mainly, but not exclusively, on the lighter weight classes of lightweights and welterweights. The Bushido series also stressed a faster pace, with bouts consisting of only one ten-minute round and one five-minute round, as well as quicker referee intervention of stalling tactics, using the new "yellow card" system of purse deduction. Also in , Pride returned to the tournament format, with a middleweight grand prix spanning two events, Pride Total Elimination and Final Conflict The format was expanded to three events in , adding Critical Countdown as the second round.

Pride would go on to hold annual tournaments, a heavyweight tournament in , a middleweight in , and an openweight in Specifically after entering Liddell in Pride's middleweight tournament, which was also with the intention of Liddell eventually fighting Silva, which fell through when Liddell lost in the semi-finals to Quinton Jackson Jackson subsequently lost to Silva by technical knockout in the finals.

Pride continued to enjoy success, holding roughly ten events per year, and even out-drawing rival K-1 at the annual New Year's Eve show Pride Shockwave On June 5, , the Fuji Network announced that they were terminating their television contract with Pride Fighting Championships effective immediately due to a breach of contract by DSE. Dream was surrounded by speculation in the Japanese media, especially in the Japanese tabloid Shukan Gendai , that it may be a front for the notorious yakuza crime organization.

Dream responded to the loss by stating they will continue with their schedule as currently planned, including an event in Las Vegas, Pride Second Coming which took place on February 24, , Pride's second event outside Japan. Since Tyson is not allowed to fight in Japan because of his criminal record, Pride wanted to stage the fight in an alternate country, possibly Macau, China. The fight would be broadcast live on large television screens in the Saitama Super Arena , where the regular mixed martial arts bouts were held. On November 29, , Pride announced the discontinuation of its Bushido events, with the intention of integrating the matches from lighter weight classes, mainly featured in Bushido, into regular Pride events.

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Pride also announced that future Grand Prix tournaments would take place on a four-year weight class cycle, with one Grand Prix per year. Subsequent remarks by Zuffa spokesperson Dana White however cast doubt as to what the new owners would actually do with Pride. After the sale officially closed on May 25, , White remarked that he planned on bringing Pride's biggest names into UFC competition instead of keeping them in Pride and that they were still deciding on what to do with Pride itself.

I don't think they want us there. I don't think they want me there. The program premiered January 15, , on Spike TV. The program's host is Kenda Perez. Pride Fighting Championships released two licensed video games during its time in business, as well as being featured in an Ultimate Fighting Championship game in Pride's rules [27] differed between main Pride events and Bushido events.

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It was announced on November 29, , that Bushido events would be discontinued. Pride matches consisted of three rounds; the first lasted ten minutes and the second and third each lasted five minutes. Intermissions between each round were two minutes long.

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In Pride events held in the United States, NSAC Unified MMA rules were used: non-title matches consisted of three five-minute rounds and title matches consisted of five five-minute rounds, both with second intermissions between rounds. When two rounds of a Grand Prix took place on the same night, Grand Prix bouts consisted of two rounds, the first lasting ten minutes and the second lasting five.

Intermissions between each round remained two minutes long. The same was used at Pride: Bushido events. Pride allowed fighters latitude in their choice of attire but open finger gloves, a mouthguard and a protective cup were mandatory.

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Fighters were allowed to use tape on parts of their body or to wear a gi top, gi pants, wrestling shoes, kneepads, elbow pads, or ankle supports, and masks at their own discretion, though each was checked by the referee before the fight. In the event that a fighter was injured by illegal actions, then at the discretion of the referee and ring doctor, the round would attempt to be resumed after enough time had been given to the fighter to recover. Once the fight started again the fighters would be placed in the exact position when the referee called the time out.

If the match could not be continued due to the severity of the injury then the fighter who perpetrated the action was disqualified.

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  • Pride made special provisions for fights between fighters of different weight classes or fighters with a large weight difference in the same weight class. The lighter fighter was given a choice of whether or not to permit knees or kicks to the face when in the "four points" position in the following cases:. Featuring a mixture of elite fighters as well as young up and coming talent, BUSHIDO presents the entire spectrum of weight classes, from lightweights to heavy weights. In addition, BUSHIDO provides flexibility for more experimental fight card formats, such as "team" competitions pitting country versus country, or fight team versus fight team.

    Some states' athletic commissions require mixed martial arts events to modify rules to match the Mixed Martial Arts Unified Rules of Combat , as introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, and adopted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in order to receive state sanctioning.

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    At the announcement on March 27, , that the Fertittas were purchasing Pride, it was stated that all future Pride events after Pride 34 would be held under unified rules, eliminating minute opening rounds, ground knees, stomps and more, though there were no more Pride events held to use these rules. Events typically begin with the theme music entitled Pride , composed by Yasuharu Takanashi. In addition to a money prize, a championship belt was given to the winner of each tournament, though this belt only denoted the tournament winner and would never be defended.

    However, Pride's Shockwave event crowned not only the welterweight and lightweight tournament champions, but also Pride's inaugural welterweight and lightweight champions. Of note is the amount of past and future champions that would participate in these tournaments. In , Pride held their first Grand Prix. With no weight limits, it is now considered to be their first openweight grand prix. Held across two events, Pride Grand Prix Opening Round featured first round bouts and Pride Grand Prix Finals featured the quarter finals, semi finals and final.

    The concept was brought back in , with a middleweight grand prix. Held across two cards, Pride Total Elimination featured the first round of the Grand Prix and Final Conflict featured the semi finals and final. Subsequent middleweight, heavyweight and openweight grands prix had taken place across three events when, in , Critical Countdown was introduced for second round bouts.

    In , it was announced that Pride would hold only one Grand Prix a year and it would rotate between each of their four established weight classes. Except for the inaugural Grand Prix, tournament dates with only one round would adhere to normal Pride or Pride Bushido rules.

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    For tournament dates that held two rounds, a fight had a minute first round, followed by a two-minute rest period for the fighters, and then a five-minute last round. Gracie had requested that there be no judging and no limit to the number of rounds. Sakuraba agreed to fight under these rules, and the contest went to a total of 90 minutes of fighting, after which Gracie's corner threw in the towel due to damage to Gracie's legs. Sakuraba advanced to the next round, fighting a fifteen-minute first round against eventual runner up Igor Vovchanchyn , after which Sakuraba's corner threw in the towel citing his exhaustion.

    With Pride's numbered shows and Grands Prix focused on heavier fighters, in October , Pride started a series of events entitled "Bushido". After Pride Bushido 13, it was announced that the series would end and these weight classes would transfer to main Pride shows. In , Pride Bushido staged welterweight and lightweight Grands Prix. Two eight-man brackets were set up and the quarter finals and semi finals were held at Pride Bushido 9 , along with an alternate bout in each bracket. The finals were held at Pride Shockwave , with the winners subsequently being crowned as champions for their division.

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