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WILL PRIDE STRIP MINITAURO OF ITS HEAVYWEIGHT BELT if he fights in the UFO? Sherdog is reporting that Naoto Morishita, President of DSE entertainment has threatened to strip its heavyweight champion Rodrigo “Minitaoru” Nogueira of his title and not use him again if he goes forward with his planned fight in the UFO.

This seems to be a power play by Pride to keep its champion in its fold. Unlike in boxing, the championships in MMA are tied to the promotions, not the fighters. The affect is that promoters can pull moves like this to try to bully fighters and make them cave into their demands.

But, I think that Pride is bluffing. Nogueira has already beaten the two top heavyweight contenders under contract to Pride, and Pride’s heavyweight championship will lose major credibility if Nogeuira is stripped of the title. I just cannot see Pride giving the boot to the top heavyweight fighter in the world.

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