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Pride Owner Nobuyuki Sakakibara Sues UFC

When Nobuyuki Sakakibara sold the Pride mixed martial arts organization to its top competitor, UFC, last year, he thought he had an agreement in place for UFC to keep the Pride name going. But it hasn't really worked out that way, as UFC has basically just swallowed Pride whole.

Now Sakakibara is suing UFC for $10 million, claiming that UFC breached its contract and fraudulently misrepresented the goals of the purchase. "plaintiffs believe that defendants acquired Pride to destroy it, thereby eliminating the biggest competition they had in the industry," the lawsuit says. (Sakakibara also says he hasn't been paid his consulting fee. The full complaint is in a PDF here.)

There's not much doubt that UFC acquired Pride to destroy it, in the sense that UFC wanted to improve its own brand by applying it to Pride's best fighters. But that has been a good thing for MMA fans, as it has created some good fights between the best Pride fighters (like Rampage Jackson) and the best UFC fighters. it's hard to see how that damaged Sakakibara.

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