Dream Stage entertainment, the group which recently ceded control of PRIDE FC to UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, has issued a press release through its official Web site in Japan announcing the postponement of the opening round of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix, which was originally scheduled for May 20 at the Saitama Super Arena.
The postponement comes as a result of PRIDE assets not being transferred from DSE to PRIDE FC Worldwide, the recently formed company which will take over control of the Japanese mixed martial arts organization, before the first of May.
With little over three weeks remaining before PRIDE FC Worldwide will begin promoting PRIDE under new president Lorenzo Fertitta, the Station Casinos magnate stated in the official press release:
"As we're in the midst of transferring business assets between both companies, we have decided that only one month to prepare for the 5/20 event is not enough time to organize the production and promote the event in a manner that reflect our first PRIDE event for the fans"
"The new date for the Lightweight GP Opening Round will be announced at another time.
"We deeply apologize to our fans and all parties concerned for the sudden announcement and the trouble we have caused."
In an interesting note, rumors have been circulating about possible candidates for the upcoming PRIDE Grand Prix, with DSE releasing an official promotion poster featuring the likes of Takanori Gomi (Pictures), Hayato Sakurai (Pictures), Mitsuhiro Ishida (Pictures), Marcos Aurelio, Tatsuya Kawajiri (Pictures), Joachim Hansen (Pictures), Luiz Azeredo (Pictures), Shinya Aoki (Pictures), Luiz Firmino (Pictures), Gilbert Melendez (Pictures) from the PRIDE FC side, along with UFC representatives Matt Hughes (Pictures) and Diego Sanchez (Pictures).
All PRIDE GP participants are unofficial save for Pancrase and DEEP representative Satoru Kitaoka (Pictures), who secured a spot in an elimination match on Friday at DEEP's 29th Impact held in Tokyo, Japan.