NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA INTERVIEW
04/21/2003

DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara, Executive Producer Antonio Inoki and General Manager Nobuhiko Takada were present at a Tokyo press conference on April 15th to announce the reorganization of PRIDE. A one-year event schedule and a partial card for the upcoming PRIDE 26 (June 8, Yokohama, Japan) were also announced. Kazuyuki Fujita will fight the current PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Fedo Emelianenkor, in a non-title match at PRIDE 26.

DSE President, Nobuyuki Sakakibara's Comments
My name is Nobuyuki Sakakibara and I have been tasked to be the President of Dream Stage Entertainment, Inc. Since the unfortunate passing of President Morishita, we have been working at full-speed over these 3 months to do what needed to be done. We would like to express our strong gratitude to all who supported us and gave us their understanding. DSE will not disappear and PRIDE will continue thanks to that support and understanding. DSE has been reborn and I would again like to thank all of the fans from the bottom of my heart. Additionally, I would like to thank all of the fans that have written us letters and post cards of support and to all of the fans that came out to PRIDE 25 in great numbers and let their voices be heard. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the fighters. Despite the gloomy situation, they came out and fought as usual, with all their heart. Thank you very much.

Regarding the PRIDE series
Now I'd like to shed some light on the upcoming PRIDE series. As President Morishita explained at the New Year's press conference, it is DSE's strong desire to hold a PRIDE GP this year. However, differing from what was announced at the press conference, the GP will not be a joint Middleweight/Heavyweight event. The Middleweight GP will be held in August of this year and the Heavyweight GP will be held next year. We would like to see Heavyweight and Middleweight Grand Prix tournaments regularly held on alternating years from here on. The first round of the Grand Prix will be held on August 10th in Saitama Super Arena. The final round will be held at the end of October or beginning of November at either the Saitama Super Arena or the Tokyo Dome. Sometime around January of 2004, we also plan on holding a PRIDE event in America. The location will be Las Vegas, Nevada. In total, we plan on holding 5 events in the upcoming fiscal year.

Regarding PRIDE In The USA
From PRIDE 26, PRIDE events will be broadcast throughout the United States on iN Demand. This PPV broadcast is the result of over 2 years of negotiations and we expect to broadcast to 37~38 million households.

Over the past 2 years, DSE has also negotiated with the Nevada State Licensing Commission and, as previously reported, was successfully awarded a license. Although the license is basically for American-based companies, DSE is the first non-American company to receive this license. As such, we at DSE intend are not happy with just saying that we have received a license. We want to use it to its fullest potential and we have been working to prepare an event for the USA.

We have received many strong offers from the major hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, saying that they definitely want to hold our event In Las Vegas at their hotels. We don't want to make this Las Vegas show a one time only event so we will put a lot of thought into our strategy for the upcoming year. The American market will be our main market in the future. This will probably mean a reduction in the number of events held within Japan but we would like to appeal more to the worldwide market. It may be that basic matches will be held in the US while big matches will be held in Japan. At any rate, we are sincere in our efforts to bring PRIDE to America's giant entertainment market.

Regarding PRIDE 26
This next PRIDE event will be PRIDE 26: REBORN (Japanese title. Title may differ in the United States). It will be held on Sunday, June 8th at the Yokohama Arena. The "REBORN" is a reflection on the DSE and PRIDE organization and reports our rebirth. We hope that everyone will watch this event as we set off on a new PRIDE journey.