Talk about some fighting talk.
Rizin Fighting Federation have rekindled the old spirit of PRIDE FC in Japan thanks to the work of Rizin president and former PRIDE executive Nobuyuki Sakakibara. With fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva and Kazushi Sakuraba already brought in, the federation has now extended an open invitation to promotions around the world to send their stars to compete in their Grand Prix.
Following their inaugural Grand Prix last year, the promotion will once again return to the event in 2016. With the first round beginning in September, the eight-man Grand Prix will conclude at their New Years Eve event.
The Grand Prix is one hell of a competition. Instead of signing every fighter the promotion can get their hands on, Rizin have instead opted to partner with promotions from around the world and invite them to send their champions to compete. This was a fruitful business decision, and saw Rizin’s first Grand Prix winner hailing from Bellator in "King Mo" Lawal.
Now Nobuyuki Sakakibara has set his sights firmly on the pinnacle of the MMA world right now, the UFC. Sakakibara reached out to the American promotion in a recent luncheon with MMAWeekly.com, asking them to send their champions to take part in the competition with a grand prize of $500,000.
Fight fans around the world would love to see a return to the PRIDE FC days of old, and it looks like Nobuyuki Sakakibara is trying to bring those dreams to life. The UFC have yet to comment on the Rizin Grand Prix invitation, but as always, we'll keep you updated. Meanwhile, check out the full interview below.