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Report: Hidehiko Yoshida may appear at Dynamite

By Zach Arnold | September 9, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

Sankei Sports is reporting that Hidehiko Yoshida is considering an offer to appear at the K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event. Yoshida was quoted as saying that he wanted to fight before the end of the year and that he is leaving any future career decisions to the J-ROCK office to determine. J-ROCK’s stance is that if PRIDE is dead, then Yoshida should be a free agent.

In the various Japanese sports newspapers on Monday, the Rampage/Henderson fight received little or no coverage whatsoever. The Yoshida talk grabbed a lot of headlines.

Meanwhile, Sam Caplan is trying to figure out how to salvage Mirko Cro Cop’s career and Kevin Iole talks about the official death of PRIDE. Well, it is. Plus, a proclaimation for Herb Dean.

Topics: HERO's, Japan, K-1, MMA, Media, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 19 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

19 Responses to “Report: Hidehiko Yoshida may appear at Dynamite”

  1. The Gaijin says:

    I’m really surprised K-1/Heros hasn’t done more to “fill the vacuum” left by PRIDE’s demise and Zuffa’s indifference (ineptitude?) in the Japanese mma market. Really surprised so many of the Japanese stars and gaijin like Barnett and Fedor are being allowed to sit idle or be scooped up by the UFC.

    Has mma’s popularity receded that much that no one will is willing to jump in or is it the shady state of business and characters involved that is keeping others out?

  2. Zach Arnold says:

    Tanigawa is one of the most uncharismatic personalities ever in the fight business. That’s fine if you can deliver the goods, but he can’t. Not a very creative or influential mind at all whatsoever. As for the rest of the Japanese business, only Inoki is a threat to K-1 as far as getting access to free TV. Without the free TV networks acting as sugar-daddies, the black suits aren’t so interested in getting involved in a fight game that would take some elbow grease to make money in. PRIDE was an easy cash cow when it existed.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Is there something that no one knows about happening in the Japanese scene? WE can’t see anything, but we do see “nothing happened”. That is how you find black holes…a whole lot of nothing surrounded by other things.

    What’s the deal?

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    K-1 has the free TV scene locked. Without the free TV networks wanting to get into bed with other companies, it has created a scenario where it’s harder to make cash in the business legitimately. The harder it is to generate cash, the more likely certain elements of the business will stay away.

  5. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    It’s not entirely unbelievable that the people who “knew how” were mainly associated with Pride, and are now tainted.

    The TV companies, the venues, the sponsors also all have good reasons to worry that getting into bed with anyone trying to reproduce what Pride was doing will find that the yakuza are going to want to get back in on that action.

    The other possibility is that Pride was never as successful as it appeared to be. It fell apart fast enough, so maybe it was a shell game the entire time.

  6. Sam Scaff says:

    I have a question…

    Does anyone know for sure if the Ed Fishman lawsuit resulted in Zuffa never being able to produce a Pride FC show ever again??

    I heard this rumor, but I wasnt sure. Is this information public? Can it be?

    Also, was the live gate and Skyperfect PPV sales really not enough to sustain Pride? Or was there something else going on behind the scenes that caused DSE to sell Pride? Were they in debt? Did the Yakuza want their money back? Does that mean that DSE and/or Sakikabara and/or Yakuza backers were never making any profit without FujiTV? I never got that.

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    Does anyone know for sure if the Ed Fishman lawsuit resulted in Zuffa never being able to produce a Pride FC show ever again??

    I heard this rumor, but I wasnt sure. Is this information public? Can it be?

    I was the person who reported this rumor. The rumor is that part of the confidential settlement between Fishman Companies and DSE Inc. was that PRIDE would never return. Jeff Thaler questioned me about it, not believing the story.

    PPV is not a big market in Japan and unlikely ever will be. Free-to-air TV remains very big in Japan and there’s no real reason to get into cable unless you’re interested in the triple play (phone + internet + TV), and the PPV market was mainly concentrated on the satellite end of things. As you can imagine, big towns with very tall buildings do not necessarily create great target zones for satellite feeds.

    Remember what the allegations by Gendai were against PRIDE. Gendai claimed that PRIDE profits were going to the boryokudan (yakuza). In other words, the magazine claimed money laundering. Put money in, take money out. The entertainment world in Japan (the geinokai) makes an easy target for this kind of activity. Why? Businesses involving high cash flow and relatively few assets is perfect territory for the gangs. Conversely, production companies are also major yakuza targets because of the high cash flow they can generate quickly. Any operation involving soft assets or few assets with a high yield equals interest.

  8. Sam Scaff says:

    So what was your response to Jeff Thaler? Is it true? Is your source credible? Why or why not do you believe the rumors?

    It does seem like the Dana’s satements regarding Pride changed soon after the suit was settled, but is there any more evidence? I’m curious. I know Pride isnt coming back.

    Do you know any news about the status of the other japanese pride stars? ie, Gomi, Kawajiri, Aoiki, Ishida, etc? I heard that DEEP might sign them, but DEEP doesnt have a very deep international roster (not pun intended), so I’m not too excited about that. Also, top fighters like Melendez, Hanson, Rogerio Nogueira, etc, etc, seem to have been lost in the void. Any idea who might scoop these guys up?

  9. Zach Arnold says:

    I believe the rumor about the Fishman settlement (and the PRIDE provision) to be true.

    Most of the Japanese fighters will likely land in HEROs or smaller groups, like Pro Elite (if Hawaii comes calling).

  10. Jordan Breen says:

    “Do you know any news about the status of the other japanese pride stars? ie, Gomi, Kawajiri, Aoiki, Ishida, etc? I heard that DEEP might sign them, but DEEP doesnt have a very deep international roster (not pun intended), so I’m not too excited about that. Also, top fighters like Melendez, Hanson, Rogerio Nogueira, etc, etc, seem to have been lost in the void. Any idea who might scoop these guys up?”

    Many of the Japanese fighters, for whatever reason, truly believed PRIDE was going to come back. We’re at a point now where the writing is on the wall for them.

    Gomi is a free agent officially this month and is looking for dollars, and FEG are likely to give him more than Zuffa. Kawajiri, Ishida and Aoki have all expressed interest in fighting in the UFC, however are seemingly oblivious to the fact that it’s only for your Fedors, Shoguns and Silvas that Zuffa aggressively pursues talent for the most part now. Japanese fighters typically don’t have a Monte Cox-type figure around them, negotiating deals. Joe Silva has spoke to me before about his hassles in trying to sign Aoki before, and said he thought he’d signed him through one person claiming to manage him before Aoki signed with DSE. Aoki is at least on Zuffa’s radar. If Kawajiri and Ishida want Zuffa deals, they’ll have to get some management.

    Chonan’s management have confirmed his UFC deal is done and they’re waiting to iron out particulars. There is also negotiation going on right now to bring in Gono and Misaki, possibly both at 170. Gono wants to do 170 for sure, Misaki may stay at 185.

    Zuffa are interested in Gilbert Melendez but he has a fight remaining on his Strikeforce deal which will end after the Playboy Mansion card. Joachim Hansen’s situation is interesting, as Zuffa have said they’ve offered him big money, but Hansen’s team say that they have not received any deals they’re interested in thus far, and if they don’t, Hansen will resume amateur boxing later this month. Rogerio Nogueira is presently trying to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games, and at the conclusion of his efforts, will be looking to score a Zuffa deal.

  11. JOSH says:

    Gono? Misaki? WHY!!!!??? If they dont want talent, why setlle for crap?

  12. David says:

    Yakuza, put a hit on ole’ D.White so the Ferittititta brothers can go retire in Italy with Arnold bringing MMA to the Olympics…

    whos down for the cause!?

  13. Body_Shots says:

    Does anyone know for sure if the Ed Fishman lawsuit resulted in Zuffa never being able to produce a Pride FC show ever again??

    I wonder exactly how that would work? Fishman’s suit wasn’t against Zuffa it was against DSE, which they settled (they also paid off the NSAC debt recently). I don’t know how any ruling would stop Zuffa from running a new promotion under a completely different company. Plus the suit was over being wrongfully terminated and what he sought from the case was monetary, I could maybe see it if his lawsuit was against DSE & Zuffa having to do with ownership but Ed was never close to buying PRIDE, sounds like old wives tale to me.

  14. Jordan Breen says:

    “Gono? Misaki? WHY!!!!??? If they dont want talent, why setlle for crap?”

    Gono and Misaki are better than a lot of guys they have in rotation now, and I am particularly intrigued to see how they’d do at 170.

    However, the bigger reason is simply because these guys have representation pitching their case to Zuffa. Zuffa’s talent signing policy when it comes to your non-superstars at this point is totally laissez-faire, so it’s up to fighters to get managers who are going to pitch their wares.

  15. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the information Jordan Breen. I enjoyed reading it, and I would also like to echo a fellow posters comment and wonder why in the world are they bringing in guys like from Grabaka…who are as exciting as, oh, I don’t know…a brown paper bag on a windless day? The UFC has already cut less boring fighters like Marquardt and Lindland. What gives?

  16. Jonathan says:

    And it seems to me like there is no more money to made in Japanese kaktougi…because if there were, wouldn’t there be more of a push?

  17. [...] Fightopinion jakim? cudem przet?umaczy?o informacje z Japonii, ?e Hidehiko Yoshida zastanawia si?, czy przyj?? oferte K1 Hero’s na wyst?p w gali noworocznej tej organizacji. Daleki jestem od sugerowania czegokolwiek, ale widzicie, czyje r?kawice ok?adaj? Hidehiko na fotce powy?ej. Royca. Z Roycem ju? walczy? – to mo?e teraz inny z rodzinki? Podziel si? informacj? (Wykop i Gwar): These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  18. Sam Scaff says:

    I’d have to agree that I am underwhelmed by UFC’s acquisitions of guys like Chonan, Gono, Misaki, Omigawa, and Nakamura.

    To me, while good fighters, these guys are not on the level compared to guys that i mentioned before.. Aoki, Gomi, Kawajiri, Ishida…

    I dont honestly believe that the UFC wants a top japanese figher. Sure, maybe these top japanese guys dont have US representation, but still, you always have to read between the lines when evaluating the decisions of Dana White and the UFC.

  19. [...] has a new post up with a report from Sankei Sports which says that Hidehiko Yoshida has received and is [...]

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