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The politics of DREAM & Sengoku

By Zach Arnold | November 10, 2008

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Gryphon elaborates on comments made by Hideto Ida, the editor of Bout Review. Ida, along with Shu Hirata, manage Roger Gracie. The big news item to come from Ida is discussion about K-1 boss Kazuyoshi Ishii trying to convince the owner of Sengoku (World Victory Road) to purchase DREAM from K-1.

This idea is not that far-fetched at all.

Seiya Kawamata, the admitted yakuza-fixer who was at the center of Shukan Gendai’s negative campaign against PRIDE, is one of Ishii’s more powerful allies in the fight business. Kawamata has long been rumored to be working with both K-1 and Sengoku, even if the operations are independent of each other. Ishii’s long-term goal in the Japanese fight business has always been a very simple one — control the industry by controlling the pipeline of television. If Ida’s comments are accurate, then the concept of Ishii trying to get WVR to buy DREAM with the idea of giving WVR access to Tokyo Broadcasting System makes perfect sense. Ishii would be able to get rid of the albatross known as DREAM from K-1’s finances, Sengoku would promote shows and have to pay the bills for everything involved, and the parties involved would have the ability to do an interpromotional feud (think of an MMA version of New Japan vs. UWF-International on a smaller scale.)

The big question is this: what power would K-1 retain with TBS if such a deal was brokered? We know K-1 has the World MAX series on the network, and the heavyweight shows on Fuji TV are not pulling substantial ratings any longer. Is Ishii playing with fire here by trying to sell off DREAM to WVR in hopes that he can get someone else to pay the bills?

Topics: DREAM, Japan, Media, MMA, Sengoku, Zach Arnold | 2 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

2 Responses to “The politics of DREAM & Sengoku”

  1. Bryan says:

    How can someone who was an admitted match fixer for the Yakuza still be so influential? Wasn’t it the sway of public opinion that led to Fuji dropping PRIDE in the first place? (Well, one of the main reasons) Why wouldn’t it happen again, unless Ishii want to start from over scratch?


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