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Media wrap-up: Sakakibara, Fuji, and PRIDE

By Zach Arnold | June 9, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

As you could imagine today, there was a giant fallout in media reaction (newspapers, TV, etc.) in regards to the Thursday press conference that DSE management held at the Prince Hotel in Tokyo. We will take a look at some of the reaction from the press (both from English and Japanese sources).

One item that should be noted is that on the PRIDE web site, there is a review of Thursday’s press conference. Towards the bottom of the review, it states that DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara was accompanied by lawyer Yoshinori Tani (谷宜憲). According to a source in Japan, Tani is an Osaka-based defense lawyer (who is an ex-prosecutor). He is specialized in criminal, not civil court cases. At the Thursday press conference, Sakakibara talked about bringing legal action against Kodansha (publisher of Shukan Gendai) & Seiya Kawamata for the damage that they caused against DSE. The presence of Tani, whose background is in criminal cases, brings up some interesting questions.

I did a search for Tani and the one concrete listing I was able to find was a listing for a Yoshinori Tani at Tanabe Management Consulting Co. Ltd., which has corporate headquarters based out of Suita city in Osaka. Tani is listed as a lawyer who is one of two external auditors for the company. This would seem to indicate that it is indeed the same person as Sakakibara’s lawyer.

Media reaction

On the Burning Spirit web site, there is a post with some comments (in Japanese) from Josh Barnett (in a short conversation I had with him) about Fuji TV canceling PRIDE. Josh stated that he was focused on the fight against Mark Hunt on July 1st. He noted that he was about to train with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Ivan Salaverry, Jeff Monson, and Justin Levens in Big Bear, California, and is around 250 pounds right now. In regards to Fuji TV, Barnett noted his frustration with Fuji TV’s blacklisting decree about PRIDE fighters not being allowed to appear on any Fuji TV shows. He feels that the fighters are being treated unfairly, and Josh personally denied any involvement in any sort of criminal behavior. He asked for the fans to continue to support the fighters and to focus on the upcoming fights.

Gendai Net has a brief posting, talking about the “mudslinging” that is happening right now and the involvement of “producer Mr. K” (Kunio Kiyohara) in the Fuji TV/PRIDE scandal.

Shu Hirata at BoutReviewUSA has a great post about the Fuji TV/PRIDE situation, and he also gets into a discussion about the role that the weekly magazines play in Japan (what their goals are, how they write stories, etc.) Big thumbs-up.

Eddie Goldman has an online post about the PRIDE scandal, and asks people why detractors who attack boxing aren’t focusing on the same (if not, higher, in his eyes) level of corruption in the MMA business.

Whaledog has an interesting post about the amount of media coverage on the PRIDE/Fuji TV story in the English-based media, specifically focusing on Sherdog.

Update: Stephen Martinez at Sherdog writes about PRIDE’s situation.

Between the Ropes has Bas Rutten on as the latest guest on their radio show. They talk about the PRIDE/Fuji TV story and also get thought from Rutten on the situation, along with his thoughts on how PRIDE treated him and what he thinks of PRIDE’s future.

MMA Mafia (what an ironic name) has a post about PRIDE’s future, wondering where the various fighters in PRIDE would go if the company collapsed.

Dave Doyle, managing editor of the Fox Sports MMA blog, alludes to Fuji TV canceling PRIDE’s contract.

There’s turmoil in PRIDE these days. The Wrestling Observer reported yesterday the group had its Japanese network television contract cancelled, which potetnially threatens its future.

But while this sorts out, PRIDE is still presenting top-notch shows, including last weekend’s which featured the first round of their weltweweight tournament. The event was broadcast stateside on pay-pay-view Sunday night.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Media wrap-up: Sakakibara, Fuji, and PRIDE”

  1. Denis Martins says:

    this is a real crap happening in Japan. Like people mentioned in other websites; and here at the Zach’s domains. I can’t understand why a few ‘journalists’ are not writing about the DSe problem in Japan.
    Here in Brazil it’s worst than I expected, there’s no any website or Magazine talking about it. So, the question is, is this the real journalism people is practicing or is this just a joke?
    I can’t understand, why this is a sport, and it has problems too. But some people who write about it seem to be blind.


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