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BodogFight’s plans for Japan

By Zach Arnold | April 17, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

Here are comments made by Calvin Ayre in an interview with us (through an intermediary).

1) Will Bodog run any shows in the US?

Following the overwhelming success of its sophomore series, Bodog Fight: Costa Rica Combat will start airing in over 90 million homes across the U.S., on ION Television, starting this Tuesday, April 17th at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central. In addition to being broadcast on ION Television, all episodes of the series will be available worldwide through video streaming on Fight fans will get access to previews, recaps, behind-the-scenes exclusives, fighter bios and additional footage only available online.

2) Do you have an alliance with Pancrase or K-1?

We’ve worked with entities such as Cage Rage, K-1/FEG, StrikeForce, and Sportfight and we’re always open to exploring new associations with partners who operate at the highest levels and are committed to the development and evolution of MMA.

With respect to Bodog Fight’s collaboration with Pancrase, our merchandise sales in Japan will begin on April 27, 2007 at the MMA show promoted by Pancrase. All Bodog Fight merchandise will be available at Pancrase shows, official gyms, on the league’s home page, and in selected retail stores in Japan.

We have also entered a branding and cross promotion agreement with Pancrase for a series of three shows in Tokyo. Pancrase, with their pedigree of 15 years in the sport, is a great spot for Bodog Fight to continue to impact the Japanese market. Expanding our brand into the Japanese market presents a unique challenge and a necessary one in order for our MMA entity to grow to its fullest potential. We have many more plans for the Japanese market, and our collaboration with Pancrase is an important global alliance as we build the future of MMA.

3) Where does Bodog expect the majority of its revenue to come from – house shows? PPV? TV?

We have a number of revenue generating opportunities within all of these streams, in addition to our extensive merchandise sales and other brand partnership agreements. We see a lot of promise with our international PPV events, especially as we form new partnerships with international TV distributors.

In terms of gate sales, in our first PPV event held in Vancouver, we saw a sell out crowd! For the event in Russia, by all accounts, we are on track for another sell out. The word is definitely getting out about these exciting PPV events and we expect to continue to draw a lot of fanfare for all the upcoming shows.

As for our television shows, we are getting pick up on different networks around the globe and we foresee advertising revenues increasing substantially as more organizations align themselves with the Bodog Fight brand.

4) Does Calvin have a timetable for the Bodog to be financially successful before pulling the plug?

Well, I already see Bodog Fight as a financially successful channel, with a powerful and marketable brand that appeals to sports fans around the globe, and aligns well with the direction in which we believe the MMA industry is heading. I’m very happy with the success our Bodog Fight team has been able to achieve in such a short amount of time, and I feel very strongly that we’re rapidly putting in place a new style of entertainment that will take this sport to a whole new level. We’re producing a record number of Bodog Fight TV shows, PPV events; we have collaborated with some of the biggest forces in the MMA industry, and we have proven that we have what it takes to attract the highest caliber of fighters in the world – So, I think we are off to a very good start. This year is going to be very good for us and for all of our partners.

5) What is Fedor’s status with Bodog? Will he fight in Bodog exclusively? Did UFC buy his contract from PRIDE? Does Bodog have the right to book Fedor to fight in the U.S. or Canada or only Russia? Will Fedor have to drop the PRIDE title if he stays with Bodog?

These are all very good questions, and I’ll tell you what I can at this time: Bodog Fight and Fedor Emelianenko have a special relationship. Fedor is a great fighter and of course any MMA organization would be happy to have him exclusively on their roster.

Currently Fedor has agreed to fight with BDF in association with M-1 for the one fight on April 14th. We are certainly interested in pursuing him for an additional multi-fight contract.

6) Will Bodog create its own championship belts?

We’re looking at having these done in time for out next Pay-Per-View.

7) Will Bodog become part of the K-1 Elite XC alliance?


Topics: BoDog, Japan, Media, MMA, Pancrase, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “BodogFight’s plans for Japan”

  1. klown says:


    Thanks for the vids. I loved watching the theatrical intros to the Mirko-Fedor and Mirko-Wanderlei fights, I’ve never seen them before. It made me nostalgic for the Pride era.

  2. Body_Shots says:

    Good interview Zach. I think Pancrase will be like M-1 was for them in Russia.

  3. Rollo the Cat says:

    Pancrase addsa little class to what is a bit of a sleazy Bodog production. Not that I am offended by it, just that if Bodog wants to take off, a more serious apporach to the production is neccessary. Pancrase existed beofre the UFC, has a great history and has always been one of my favorite groups.

    I wonder if the influx of money to Pancrase will result in a TV contract?

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    Say what you will about BodogFight, but their alliance with Pancrase (always solid, never expanding outside of their means) certainly is the right way to play the Japanese market now. Get a partner, do some co-promotional events, and make in-roads for merchandising this way. It may not yield big results in the end for BodogFight, but it is taking a babystep forward or two.

    Since Barnett is still the open-weight KOP champion, it would be interesting to see if BodogFight would be willing to pay some of his salary to fight in Japan in the Pancrase ring again. That’s the type of deal that could keep guys like Fedor and Barnett sticking around – the ability to work in Japan and also to work elsewhere.

  5. Dedwyre says:

    I liked the avoidance of the first question.

    Was the Vancouver event really a sell out?

    I’d watch Bodog more if. like Rollo said, they took a more serious approach to their portrayal. The only episode of their TV show I’ve really liked was the one with three female fights, and I think that’s because two of them were from the MARS group in Japan. The venue looked a lot better than the dining room or whatever it is that they have the St. Petersburg shows in.


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