Dream vs. Sengoku on NYE

November 25, 2009

It was officially announced earlier today that Dream and Sengoku will come together on December 31st to promote a mega show in Japan underneath the Dynamite!! banner.

Sherdog’s Tony Loiseleur with the latest:

World Victory Road’s Sengoku Raiden Championships will contribute fighters to Fighting and Entertainment Group’s Dynamite event on New Years Eve at the Super Saitama Arena. FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa and World Victory Road representative Sumio Inamura confirmed the cooperative effort at a joint press conference on Wednesday at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel.

 

Beyond planning for five to seven bouts dedicated to the Dream-Sengoku crossover theme on Dynamite’s 19-fight bill, no concrete details have been hashed out yet, said FEG’s Tanigawa and Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara. Fighters participating in the collaboration, as well as rules and weight classes the fights will follow are currently under negotiation between the two promotions.

 

Perhaps most importantly for the Japanese audience, one of those bouts will likely pair Beijing Olympics gold medalist Satoshi Ishii’s MMA debut against Barcelona Olympics judo gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida, in what would have been Sengoku’s headliner for their apparently now-canceled New Year’s Eve effort.

Nightmare of the Battle has more:

FEG’s Tanigawa said that he himself proposed this union event. They started discussing since the end of October. He also said that he doesn’t know what will happen with the FieLDS sponsorship next year.

 

The WVR GM said that the current plan for the next SRC event is March. The fighters participating will be the fighters who have fought there until now.

 

Sasahara said that there will be 18-19 fights on NYE, and there will also be fights between DREAM fighters so it’s not only SENGOKU vs. DREAM on the MMA side. Kawajiri and KID couldn’t attend the press conference because they were out on other business.

 

About SENGOKU only fights (besides Ishii vs. Yoshida) the WVR GM said that it’s yet to be decided if there will be any.

 

Misaki’s participation is also yet to be decided. There will be a meeting about if his suspension will be lifted or not. Misaki himself said: “I want to obey the instruction of the SENGOKU side.”

 

There will be foreign fighters competing as well, but the Japanese fighters will be the focus.

 

Tanigawa wants to match the champions with each other. The rules might depend on the fight.

 

About a future merger, Tanigawa said that Dynamite!! is mainly TBS’s event so there’s nothing like that.

 

The plan is for a double main event but Masato’s fight will probably be last since they’ll have a retirement ceremony after the fight. The event will start at 3 PM.

Payout Perspective

There are currently many doubts as to whether Sengoku will continue to operate as a separate entity in the New Year. It likely depends upon a number of things, but chiefly: how well the NYE event goes and how well the two organizations are able to work together. If they find a great deal of success, they’ll likely continue to run joint-events.

And, really, it’s quite a shame to see the current state of Japanese MMA in such disarray. However, out of turmoil comes opportunity, and these two organizations now have the chance to start a new. They can use the publicity from this announcement to generate some real interest in the event to come. Keep a close eye on the forthcoming announcements, because the fights obviously play a key role in bringing two organizations together like this – if you’re going to have a mega show, you need mega fights.

I’ll also throw in another angle here, and that’s from the perspective of the UFC. They’ve once again established a television deal in Japan, and they’ve made no secret about their intent to hold another card in that market. Dwindling competition may present an opportunity for the UFC to move into the Japanese MMA market a little faster than expected.

Yet, it’s necessary to mention the caveat, here: if MMA continues to struggle in Japan, might its lack of visibility hurt the entrance – or at least make it much more difficult – for a foreign competitor like the UFC? Likewise, if Japanese companies are currently hurting, what about the UFC product is going to make it that much more successful? It’s an interesting angle.

2 Responses to “Dream vs. Sengoku on NYE”

  1. Joseph on November 25th, 2009 2:15 PM

    The problem is that the UFC product would only be watched by the hardcores in Japan, which is the current problem. MMA events need to have huge stars for Japanese fans to tune in. UFC does not really have any for them.

  2. Kevin on November 25th, 2009 5:59 PM

    The original main event for UFC 110 Silva vs Akiyama would be a huge match in Japan!!!

    Akiyama is hated and Silva is dearly loved.

    Rampage and CroCop also both have big followings over there.

    Also I could easily pitcure Sakuraba and Sakarai signing 1 fight deals with Zuffa.

    I think if Dana could pull it off he’d love to get Aoki to fight B.J. as a main event.

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