Following the amazing UFC 263 card in Glendale Arizona in front of a packed crowd, the UFC boss contemplated the option of working with a different promotion again. According to the UFC boss, there is still a glimmer of hope that the promotion could pair their best fighters against a different promotion’s set of elite fighters.
“I like Sakakibara,” Dana White told media after UFC 263 when asked if he’d ever work with RIZIN and Sakakibara for a US return. “I always did, even when we were really hardcore competitors. He was a fun guy to compete with. And I don’t know… I’m not saying that I would but I’m not saying I wouldn’t either. At the time when we competed, when PRIDE and UFC were both first coming up, it was just such a different time in the sport.” White said to reporters at the UFC post-fight press conference.
There was a special feeling following UFC 263 when RIZIN 28 took place just a day later. Overall, the event would serve as the first one in Tokyo Dome in 18 years. The last time an event took place inside the Tokyo Dome was at PRIDE Final Conflict in 2003.
While White acknowledges now might not be the right time to partner up, the UFC president would not completely dismiss the notion. And in a way, that’s a sign of optimism.
Preceding RIZIN 28, White was seen meeting with Nobuyuki Sakakibara a couple of times, so certainly there is speculation as to if the two will finally link up and ink a cross-promotional fight. Either way, the UFC will continue its global stronghold on the fighting game.
Do you think the UFC will ever meet with RIZIN in a cross-promotional event?