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Japanese MMA Discuss Japanese MMA in here, such as DREAM, Shooto, and World Victory Road and any other Japanese MMA federation.

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post #71 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kantowrestler View Post
How did Menhoef injure an eye?
Punched in the eye.

“Younger people think NATO is a fabulous group of people, kind uncles with drums and shiny uniforms,”
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post #72 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 01:44 AM
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Oh, that happened to James Irvin right?

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post #73 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DrunkInsomniac View Post
Karl Amoussou was more aggressive during Pre-fight than the actual thing. I was hoping for a Naku win today, but wanted it to be a compelling match. Karl just got picked apart, he had no answer at all. Not even on the feet. Depressing to say the last - considering the expectations people had of him. Of course, it's one fight against a game opponent.

Naku is back, people.

He is! And he looked great and schooled the up and comer in causa Judo

But what did he say to him on the weigh ins?? Why was there heat between the two?

And who do you think they will give him next?
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post #74 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Who Needs the Heavier Weights? Not Japan:
Event Producer Keiichi Sasahara made an announcement that will have a profoundly positive long term effect on Japanese MMA after DREAM.15. In 2011, both DREAM and Sengoku will have bantamweight and proper featherweight weight classes. Finally Japan's deepest divisions will be given a chance to shine on the country's grandest stages.

But let's take this further. What if DREAM and Sengoku abolished the heavier weight divisions?

The heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions have no depth and longevity in Japan. There is little local talent at those weight divisions and the majority of Japanese fighters who do fight in the heavier weight classes should probably fighting in lighter. So does Japanese MMA need heavyweights?

DREAM and Sengoku's parent companies are private entities so their financial situations are not known but issues with sponsors and occasionally poor attendance make it safe to assume that they aren't exactly rolling in the dough. The Japanese promotions need to be careful how they spend their money and for them, investing in the sport's most expensive divisions - heavyweight and light-heavyweight, is just burning money.

Gegard Mousasi, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Alistair Overeem are recent notable examples of fighters who were developed in Japan but will probably be fighting the majority of their remaining career in America and so DREAM and Sengoku (also K-1) have basically served as development programs for American promotions.

When Gegard Mousasi eventually wins the DREAM light heavyweight title, how many times do you think he will defend it? My guess is zero. There are no compelling fights for King Mo in Japan other than a rematch with Mousasi but that fight would probably take place in Strikeforce. DREAM were unable to find a worthy opponent for Alistair Overeem at DREAM.15 so the fight didn't happen but there are plenty of fights for him in America.

The migration of fighters to America show that it isn't a sound investment at light-heavyweight and above.

In 2009, Daisuke Naito and Koki Kameda fought for the WBC flyweight (112 lbs) title and averaged a 43.1% rating (approx. 54 million viewers), peaking at 52.1% (approx. 66 million viewers).

Mixed martial arts is truly mainstream in Japan and there is no stigma against the sport like we see in the west and so boxing, K-1 and MMA are quite comparable. The numbers achieved in this boxing fight are achievable by MMA and from 2003-2006 Pride and K-1 regularly pulled in ratings of over 25%, achieving a high of 42.5% with Bob Sapp vs.Akebono.

The Naito vs. Kameda fight showed that fight sport is not dead as a high ratings product in Japan and that MMA is not being promoted correctly.

When Bob Sapp and Akebono started to score huge ratings, K-1 promoter FEG seemed convinced that they needed circus acts to get the big numbers. FEG continued putting on freakier and freakier matches and the ratings continued for a short time but the public got bored, the quality of the sport plummeted and the kakutougi (fight sport) ratings boom eventually came to an end.

Naito vs. Kameda showed that kakutougi can still draw incredible ratings in Japan, fighters don't need to be freaks and they don't need to be heavy. Two world class fighters with a well promoted, compelling story will still rate highly. The end of the 2003-2006 boom showed that "Super-Hulk" style matches will make for short-term success but long-term failure.

Japan doesn't need the heavier weights and without them on Japanese events there would be more room for bouts at the lighter weights.

DREAM and Sengoku don't hold nearly as many events as the UFC and with fewer weight divisions, fighters could fight more often. Mitsuhiro Ishida is now in the prime of his career and he went almost 11 months without a fight. Japan's second-best lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri has fought once this year. Things like the 2009 Super-Hulk tournament and DREAM's pointless ongoing light heavyweight tournament may provide short term success but are causing good fighters with long term viability to become inactive. Promoters cannot hope for fighters to become ratings draws if they are only fighting once a year as a casual fan cannot get to know and feel for a fighter that they see so irregularly.

With the money freed up from the heavier weights, investment can be made in Japan's lighter weight fighters. More money would lead to better training facilities, better trainers, and of course more focused fighters who have to worry less about their financial situation. Japanese fighters often come back from America and talk of how far ahead the training is there. Money can help to bridge that gap. It will ultimately lead to better fighters and good fighters are easier to promote.

Finally and most importantly, Japan's deepest divisions are lightweight and below and they have not yet been given a chance to shine on the country's grandest stages. Local fighters are easier to promote as they can be in the country all year round for media appearances, speak the language, understand the culture and are easier to relate to for the public.

That Japanese promoters have only now just started the bantamweight division and the fixed featherweight division shows alarming short-sightedness but finally gives the Japanese a ray of hope that the heavier weights do not.

“Younger people think NATO is a fabulous group of people, kind uncles with drums and shiny uniforms,”
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post #75 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 06:38 PM
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Seen this Bloody elbow article about Japanese MMA? Hope that guy is way wrong, (Jake Rossen saying this not me):

Dream has tried to change course. A cage introduced last fall was intended to mimic the format of promotions here, but fighters had little interest in it. (Kazushi Sakuraba entered his last fight with "We want ring" playing on video screens.) They dug into Pride’s bag of tricks and hosted a "Super Hulk" tournament with over-sized, under-skilled giants taking on smaller, more talented fighters: Jose Canseco was a participant. They even tried resurrecting the foolproof Gracie/Sakuraba rivalry by enticing Ralek Gracie to come fight the aging star. (He won.)

None of it mattered much. Ratings on TBS, one of Japan’s over-air networks, are not impressive. The trick bag is approaching empty.

More bad news? Dream is backed by FEG, the promotion behind K-1 -- Japan’s premiere combat sports league since the early 1990s. If they don’t have a handle on how to resuscitate things or the cash to make bold moves, the chances of a positive outcome are slim.

In many ways, it was the surge of the UFC in 2005 that started it: finally able to afford marquee talent, Pride had issues holding on to attractions. When the Yakuza scandal hit, effectively destroying that company in 2007, Japan’s audiences seemed to take that as a sign that the glory days were over.

This would be a good time to suggest changes, but the reality is, there may not be many to make. Pride built its foundation on the appeal of pro wrestlers fighting "for real," a resource that’s dried up in the wake of lower purses and fan apathy. Sakuraba always seems one bad break away from retirement: Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto is aging in the ring.

The MMA market has contracted in Japan and done so in a very big way. It's time to recognize the reality of what this means: rather than servicing the pro wrestling impulses that launched MMA in Japan, the country's leading promotions, DREAM and Sengoku, are rapidly atrophying into little more than glorified regional promotions.

Japan does and will continue to develop marquee MMA talent, particularly in the lighter weight classes. The combat sports tradition is rich, and the country is a top factory of international-class judokas and amateur wrestlers. But in the overall landscape of featuring meaningful MMA, the balance of power in delivering the most meaningful MMA has shifted dramatically away from the East.

There are a few ways to begin assessing the problem. I'm personally drawn to the "divide and self-defeat" reality of top MMA organizations. It's a division of the meager ranks at the elite. It is not particularly clear what the value-add is of Sengoku at the moment, outside of discovering and launching Japanese prospects. Initially launched as something of a post-MMA corruption organization with more adherence to sporting parameters, the promotion now features bantamweight tournaments with fighters of almost zero recognizable name value to the hardest of hardcore North American fans. Grooming the next generation of Japanese talent is a worthwhile activity, but is inherently not first-class MMA and certainly not the most profitable or even entertaining enterprise. That's historically been the job of regional MMA and a glaring admission from the promotion about what kind of show they actually are. I don't want to gloss over some of the other contributions Sengoku has made (the rise of Muhammed Lawal, Khalidov vs. Santiago series, fantastic featherweight fights, etc.), but those appear to be declining in frequency and not by accident. They've improved their TV deal, but lost executives, key fighters and their gyms, sponsorship alliances and more.

As we witnessed over the weekend, DREAM is still capable of offering first-rate, high-level, important MMA. DREAM's lightweight and featherweight divisions still offer accomplished, highly-ranked fighters to say nothing of the use of familiar Japanese faces of those ranked outside of the top 10 - Kazuhiro Nakamura, Hiroyuki Takaya and others. But Sengoku's problem is DREAM's problem is Japan's problem. I do not believe Japan has the fan support or fighter supply to divide what little talent they actually have. It's far too crude to analyze the Japanese from that of an owner trying to cut losses and consolidate wealth. I'm not here to glibly suggest SRC should fold it's tent to support DREAM on behalf of Japanese MMA. But unless there are serious and substantive changes, that might happen by itself. As ousted SRC head Takahiro Kokuho said himself:

"Promoters must create an event which can be held without TV deals and sponsors. To do so, we are at the state where we have to restructure MMA by studying other sporting events and learning from them. Japanese MMA organizations are going to diminish if they keep competing against each other. They have to see the world and other kind of sports. There were good times in Japanese MMA. I think people are still seeing the mirage of the times in the past."

Emphasis mine.

Continued in the full entry.


The problem is significant and not one I can adequately cover in a single post, but here's a personal anecdote that I find illuminating. For my radio show, Japanese MMA is ratings cancer. As I said on the air in the above clip from last Saturday's show (Japanese rant starts at 6:06 mark of the segment), in no way whatsoever does it even benefit me a little to talk about DREAM, Sengoku or even American fighters competing abroad. The numbers not only fail to increase, they'll send ratings into a free fall if you talk about it longer than a handful of minutes. In terms of what matters to modern MMA fans in major media outlets, Japanese MMA is not even a minimal concern.

Even this site, which has an obligation to cover Japanese MMA in some formal capacity, isn't really serviced by coverage. When there is a lull in Strikeforce or UFC events, occassionally Japanese MMA can stand out as a traffic driver. We also have a healthy audience here in the BE Night Crew, so there is a portion of the audience that actively seeks out and participates with coverage of East Asian MMA. Generally speaking, however, it's of very marginal significance. While the quality of coverage would decline here, we could easily replace all coverage of anything Japan with anything Brock Lesnar and do far better numbers. I don't know what HDNet's numbers look like for DREAM and Sengoku events, but I'm incredibly curious to find out.

Ultimately what matters for today's Japanese MMA is that their shows produce television ratings, draw local crowds, sell merchandise, and attract sponsors at home. International expansion is not a top priority or necessity for them at the moment. They also don't need my radio ratings or traffic numbers to ensure their survival. And, in fairness, part of what makes attracting audiences here for what's going on there difficult is the national and cultural divide. But the issue isn't whether Japanese MMA is viable because it drives numbers in North America. What's at issue is the decline of the ability of Japanese MMA to produce fights, fighters and events that matter.

Japan was once the seat of power in the MMA kingdom, but when the polarity of power shifted to the U.S., the Japanese were left with not much more of a sport than what they themselves could personally muster. It's good, only occassionally great. Not what it once was. Not even close.

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post #76 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 10:56 PM
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Well DREAM is obviously willing to share with Strikeforce and if they use that properly they can both prosper!

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post #77 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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K-1 X DREAM Global Domination Part 1! FEG And PUJI Partner Up
A big FEG press conference took place today where it was announced that FEG are partnering up with Chinese investment bank PUJI CAPITAL. They are aiming at taking K-1 and DREAM global and PUJI will help with funds and other know-how.

Since Japan has been left behind in the Kakutougi (Combat Sports) world they want to build the worlds largest fighting company once again and taking over the Asian market will be the first step in that plan.

FEG president Tanikawa was present at the press conference and said that FEG is not being sold and that it won’t disappear. FEG will devote themselves to what they’re good at while PUJI will take care of their fields of expertise such as fundraising. PUGI are a business partner for the sake of K-1 and DREAM going internationa
Big ******* news...more info to come once I figure this all out.

K-1 X DREAM Global Domination Part 2! 230-345 Million USD
PUJI CAPITALS Managing Partner Michael Chen was present at the press conference. He said that investment company PUJI Holdings (part of PUJI Holdings) was established 6 years ago. Their base is in Shanghai and they are expanding to Beijing and Singapore. The PUJI group cover a lot of ground in their projects like natural resources stuff (oil, coal, etc). By request from the Chinese government they are also expanding into Australia and Africa.

Them and FEG have created something called SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle). They have a big network including Europe, North America, Asia, etc. and FEG will be another one of their partners. They will be a strategic advisor as FEG take their enterprise to the global market.

According to FEG president Tanikawa they started talking with Puji in October of last year and serious talks about a partnership started in early spring of this year.

Chen said that they are aiming at raising 230-345 million USD for FEG during the first three years of the partnership.

“Younger people think NATO is a fabulous group of people, kind uncles with drums and shiny uniforms,”

Last edited by HitOrGetHit; 07-20-2010 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Triple Post
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post #78 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 10:39 AM
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Well, with all of the reasons for gobbling up our worlds resources for financial gain, keeping K1 and DREAM alive is pretty high up on my selfish priority list.

Originally Posted by M.C View Post
Red Panty night is a real thing.
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post #79 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SJ View Post
Well, with all of the reasons for gobbling up our worlds resources for financial gain, keeping K1 and DREAM alive is pretty high up on my selfish priority list.
lol, so true.

I'm mixed on mixed. It sounds so shady to me. much to read - in between the lines that is. Really don't know what to say on this move. One side of me feels relived because there's some cash in the pot now, the other feels like I've just walked through a dark alleyway; trash, strange hobo's eying you, and no sense of direction. It's a scary move to me...and these Chinese business men don't help.

“Younger people think NATO is a fabulous group of people, kind uncles with drums and shiny uniforms,”
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post #80 of 116 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 11:41 AM
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Holy triple post!

You should use the edit button insteads of making multiple back to back posts.

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Miesha Tate - Urijah Faber - Dustin Poirier - Frankie Edgar - Diaz Bro's - Claudia Gadelha - Demian Maia - Jessica Eye

Last edited by HitOrGetHit; 07-20-2010 at 10:26 AM.
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