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My Problems With Japanese MMA

Date Added: July 30, 2008 02:47:05 PM

Dave Meltzer speaks on the MMA perils in the land of the rising sun:

The leading promotion, Dream, which has network coverage of its shows, has struggled in the ratings and has struggled to create new stars since the heyday. A torn ACL suffered by Kid Yamamoto, the country’s most popular MMA fighter, couldn’t have come at a worse time. Current hardcore favorite Shinya Aoki, one of the world’s best pound-for-pound grapplers, could not carry the ratings on the July 21 show, and his two tournament matches ended up outdrawn by a one-sided of hated judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama against former pro wrestling star Katsuyori Shibata.

Dream’s back isn’t up against the wall like Elite XC, but it faces a similar situation to the company for the next show on September 23. Under the gun to draw ratings, the company is attempting to put together middleweight Akiyama against heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop, the country’s most popular foreign fighter.

While for the most part I like Japanese MMA…as there have been some absolute classics in Japan.  The DREAM LW GP was dope.  There are certain aspects of it that I just simply can’t stand..such as the following:

  1. Never finalizing a card until like a couple of days before the fights are supposed to take place.  I understand that injuries happen and replacements have to be found but damn…give us the card so we as fans will have something to discuss.  Mark Hunt should not have to fight Alistair Overeem on 3 days notice.  I know short notice stuff happens in America…but it’s out of necessity more times than not.
  2. Freak Show Match Ups…I absolutely can’t stand them…I know it’s a cultural difference and the Japanese like to see the David vs. Goliath stuff but come on.  How is Royce Gracie/Akebono or Genki Sudo/Butterbean intriguing in the least?
  3. This ties in with #2…but mis-matches….I understand they need good TV ratings…but a Heavyweight in Cro Cop against a Middleweight in Akiyama?  I mean I understand they want to see Akiyama get his face ripped off…but if you can’t find another middleweight to do it…tough shit.  Especially when both Cro Cop and Alistair Overeemhave agreed to fight one another.  Oh what potential that fight has…and it would be important in the HW grand scheme of things as well…..Arrggh!!!

What are your thoughts on Japanese MMA.?  But please…don’t start any old UFC vs. PRIDE stuff…that subject is tired.


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