A monopoly is not better for the sport. This is an individual sport where a monopoly will greatly reduce competition and development of new fighters. In the short run, there may be some great fights that many people have been waiting to see, but in the long run it is not good. It is an unfortunate event, and the only hope is that it will continue to be run as two separate organization.
Jas...you are completely right about the cage being a better venue for a wrestler. It gives a wrestler more ability to pin some against the wall. Also the cage is not as good for a striker b/c it is harder to back someone into an corner as the ring is a 90 degree angle where the octagon is a 135 degree angle. This allows a fighter to run away more from a true striker.
In regards to production value, I have always found Pride to be much better than UFC. For my mind, if one compared each aspect of Pride and UFC, I would rank Pride first.