PRIDE RESPONDS TO NIPPON TELEVISION
12/12/2003

Dream Stage Entertainment is officially protesting claims and reports made by the Nippon Television Network Corporation of Japan, the company holding the December 31, 2003 event, "Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003." These claims and reports are regarding the appearance of fighters with whom we have exclusive contracts.

Announcements have been made that fighters such as Semmy Schilt and Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira would participate in the "Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye." This was despite the fact that our company has exclusive contracts with both fighters, which would prevent them from appearing in this event.

It has also been reported that the appearance of Fedor Emelianenko, another PRIDE FC fighter, has been finalized for the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye. We have had an exclusive contract for Fedor Emelianenko's appearances in our mixed martial arts events, through his agent, since his appearance in PRIDE 21 "Demolition" on June 23, 2002. Under this contract, Fedor Emelianenko has fought in six matches and officially obtained the title of current PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion. This fact is well known throughout the MMA world. It has also been reported that Fedor Emelianenko has cancelled his contract with his former agent and signed a contract to appear in Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye through a new agent. It seems that Fedor Emelianenko's new agent has declared that our exclusive contract, and its validity, no longer exist due to the end of the contract between Fedor Emelianenko and his former agent. Our company however, believes that the contract, which Fedor Emelianenko himself signed, is both valid and on going.

Likewise, there is a similar dilemma with Semmy Schilt, now scheduled to appear at the "Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye." We have a worldwide, exclusive contract with Schilt regarding MMA events. According to this contract, he is not permitted to fight in any MMA event, other than our own, within Japan, for the duration of the contract.

Dream Stage Entertainment has not received a single inquiry from the promoters of Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye regarding any of these contractual issues. It should be easily foreseeable to a promoter that a current champion, participating in another organization's event, on the same day of an event put on by the organization in which he is a champion, would be rife with background problems. We plan on taking legal measures regarding the appearance of Fedor Emelianenko in Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye.

For Nippon TV, as a producer and promoter, to announce these Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye appearances, without any investigation into facts or rights, is a problem both legally and morally, as well as a violation of journalism ethics. We believe that, as a promoter, there is, at a minimum, a duty to have a completed contract with a fighter. Announcing a fighter's appearance without a contract will cause problems later, starting with ticket sales. If a fighter was announced as a participant but then became unable to appear due to contract problems, it would be a fraudulent act against those who purchased tickets as well as bring liability under both civil and criminal law. Aren't these announcements of fighter participation, based upon uncertain issues, an act of fraud against the viewers, the fans and the world in general?

This New Year's Eve will feature three different mixed martial arts broadcasts, an unprecedented event in our sport's history. We hope that this will bring about a new level of enthusiasm into the MMA world. We believe that this enthusiasm will be born from the three producers and the three promoters combining their various knowledge and unique creativity. However, we hope that this competition can be conducted with fairness.