The UFC and Spike TV will debut their new Best of Pride show on Friday night, and this week the UFC has put a free taste on YouTube, with the Chuck Liddell vs. Alistair Overeem Pride fight from 2003. Liddell vs. Overeem has three characteristics of the kind of fight I expect to see frequently on Best of Pride.
1. It was an exciting fight with a great finish.
2. It features Liddell, a current UFC star, winning.
3. It features Overeem, a star of the rival Strikeforce, losing.
It's rare for the UFC to put full fights on YouTube, and in fact the UFC usually works hard to take fights down when they're posted online. (YouTube actually suspended the UFC's account briefly because of a mixup over copyright issues.) But if they're going to start putting some full Pride fights on YouTube, I fully endorse that decision.
Still, I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of fights we're going to see on Best of Pride and on YouTube are ones that make current UFC fighters look good and fighters currently in rival organizations look bad.
Fedor Emelianenko went 14-0 in Pride, but we're probably not going to see many of his fights on Best of Pride, and certainly not his victories over current UFC fighters Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop and Mark Coleman. Dan Henderson went 13-5 in Pride, but we're probably not going to see many of his fights on Best of Pride, and certainly not his victories over current UFC fighters Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.
Overeem went a mediocre 7-7 in Pride, and we'll get a healthy dose of his losses to Liddell, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Shogun Rua, but probably not his win over Vitor Belfort. That's just the way it is, and although Best of Pride will be a better show if the UFC surprises us and includes Fedor, Henderson and other Pride stars who aren't with the UFC, it's guaranteed to be plenty good no matter which fights they show. The UFC got a valuable property when it purchased the Pride video library, and fans are going to like what they see.