10/12/2007 04:32 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2012

test designes

test designes PRIDE Fighting Championships (PRIDE or Pride FC) was a Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Its inaugural event was held at the Tokyo Dome on October 11, 1997. Pride held more than sixty mixed martial arts events. As one of the most popular MMA organizations in the world during its ten years of operation, Pride broadcasted to about 40 countries worldwide.[1] Pride also held the largest live MMA event audience record of over 70,000 people at the Pride and K-1 co-production, Shockwave/Dynamite, held in August 2002,[2] as well as the audience record of over 67,450 people at the PRIDE Final Conflict 2003.

In March 2007, Dream Stage Entertainment sold Pride to Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III, co-owners of Zuffa, which owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[3] While remaining as legally separate entities with separate managements, the two promotions were set to cooperate in a manner akin to the AFL-NFL merger. However, such an arrangement did not materialize, and in October 2007, 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 2008, was named Dream. On June 3, 2012, Dream effectively went out of business.[4]