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Was buying PRIDE a mistake?

Jake Rossen continues his ‘Week of White’ with the ‘Worst of White’ … a surprisingly short list of Dana’s shitty managerial decisions. His other f-word video didn’t make the cut, probably because it’s too soon to rehash. What did (along with Carmen Electra and the Bad Blood: Tito vs Dana special) was this:

Purchasing PRIDE (2007) Crippled after being abandoned by television stations, Japanese promotion PRIDE was snapped up by White in May of 2007 and was viewed as the key to unlocking the obtuse and difficult-to-navigate world of overseas fight promotion.

With a purchase price rumored to be anywhere from $15 to $75 million, PRIDE proved a sagging investment: The company was on the verge of death regardless, and some key employees — particularly Fedor Emelianenko — weren’t part of the package. It’s going to take another 175 years of repackaged best-of shows on cable and a lot of DVDs to recoup that expenditure.

Now obviously it’s hard to mark this down as a success, but I can’t really call it a failure either. Can any instance where you swallow an organization that used to be bigger and more successful than you really be that bad? Perhaps if that purchase had lead to your own company’s disintegration, sure. But Dana and the gang were pretty quick to pull the plug on PRIDE once they realized what a lemon they’d bought.

In the end, they spent a lot of money to kill a competitor. And while that competitor basically rose from the grave as DREAM, the UFC still managed to bury the PRIDE brand, one that I don’t doubt would have been snapped up by someone else if the UFC hadn’t gotten it first. Maybe if Japan’s scene had chugged right on regardless of the purchase, buying PRIDE would have been a bad decision. But now PRIDE is dead and DREAM is on it’s last legs. It’s not like Dana planned on things working out the way they did, but it’s hard to say they’ve worked out all that poorly.