Payout Perspective: FieLDS Dynamite!! 2009

December 31, 2009

The last major card of 2009 was held just outside Tokyo, Japan last night as FEG held its annual FieLDS Dynamite!! card from Saitama Super Arena. The event drew a strong 37,000+ people and featured a host of interesting MMA bouts including Shinya Aoki, Gegard Mousasi, Melvin Manhoef, and Kid Yamamoto.

Attendance

The crowd was great – at one point the announced attendance was 45, 406 – and there’s still very much something to be said for the ability of Japanese MMA to draw 37,000 people to an arena. The feeling is that a great deal of the support for this event surrounded the retirement of Masato, but the showing is nonetheless a good one for MMA as a whole.

That panoramic television view showing the huge crowd really gave the event a big time feel, and it’s undoubtedly something that North American MMA events will be shooting for in the coming years. It’s the kind of picture that communicates a thousand words, and something that would surely signal to a larger audience that MMA is legitimate. It’s hard to think that the UFC won’t try to accomplish a massive event like this within the next two years; either with GSP in Canada or BJ Penn in Hawaii.

Ratings

Expect the ratings late this week or early next.

Business Story Lines

Kid Yamamoto and Masanori Kanehara put on perhaps the fight of the night with a spirited back and forth affair. It would appear that Kid will have to re-tool his game in order to compete in the more well-rounded and competitive bantam and featherweight divisions. His ability to draw in Japan – and the appeal of him crossing the pond to fight in the WEC – will now be called into question. However, his lack of wrestling/ground game could fuel the fire for him to join a camp like Xtreme Couture.

Alistair Overeem looked impressive, but faced a clearly over-matched opponent in Fujita. He remains committed to K-1 until late March, but Strikeforce has been adamant about getting him into the cage in time for their CBS show in April. The organization would then look to setup a bout between the behemoth and Fedor Emelianenko on PPV later in the year.

This strategy isn’t without its risk, however. Not only might there be issues surrounding the status of Overeem’s contract in the future, but the swirling allegations surrounding PED use at Overeem’s gym in Holland are also a concern. Strikeforce could invest a lot of time and money in this big fight – not really having any other clear alternative at this point – and then have it crumble as the result of a contract or a bad test. There’s always some risk involved in any fight, but it seems to be heightened in this case.

Gegard Mousasi mentioned about a week ago that he’d likely be a part of the Strikeforce card in April, which bodes well for the CBS event that’s already likely to feature Fedor and Henderson.

Shinya Aoki was very impressive, but the lack of respect he displayed at the end of the fight took away from the performance. It was reminiscent of Lesnar’s antics after the Mir fight, only worse because Aoki was taunting a downed opponent that wasn’t getting up any time soon.

On one hand, these gestures at the end of the fight are the types of thing that MMA’s opposition – or even the fence sitters – look at and use as ammunition as to why the sport is brutal savagery.  On the other hand, it’s something that a promotion can use to fuel interest in a fighter – people like to see bad guys get beat.

Melvin Manhoef is always so impressive on his feet. It’s a real shame that he’s stated he has no desire to work on the ground, because he could be a force in MMA with some solid take down and ground defense. That’s the real danger as a promoter, too: the guy wants big bucks, but you risk flushing that investment down the drain. Manhoef is far too one-dimensional and that just doesn’t cut it in MMA anymore.

2 Responses to “Payout Perspective: FieLDS Dynamite!! 2009”

  1. Joseph on December 31st, 2009 5:03 PM

    “- Melvin Manhoef is always so impressive on his feet. It’s a real shame that he’s stated he has no desire to work on the ground, because he could be a force in MMA with some solid take down and ground defense. That’s the real danger as a promoter, too: the guy wants big bucks, but you risk flushing that investment down the drain. Manhoef is far too one-dimensional and that just doesn’t cut it in MMA anymore.”

    … See Paul Daley. He seems to be doing okay.

  2. Kelsey Philpott on January 1st, 2010 9:14 AM

    I know Paul – him and his manager, Wad Alameddine, are good people – but I was sitting ringside for his fight against Nick Thompson at MFC a year ago. Thompson almost got knocked out, but took him down and held him there for two rounds to get the win.

    Paul and Melvin train together and are nearly the same fighter at a different weight class. Perhaps the only difference is Paul’s willingness to work on his ground game a little more – still I don’t think the result will be any different once Paul faces a wrestler (if Hazelett gets him on the ground it’s over).

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