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Quick news and notes from fallout of Dynamite 2009 event

By Zach Arnold | December 31, 2009

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Ever since there was pressure for Kid Yamamoto to “gain size” (and he tried that one time), things have fallen off a cliff. But things have really taken a tumble since Shukan Gendai went after him on the marijuana party story.

I remember years ago a very famous person in Japanese MMA telling me that New Year’s Eve is all about marketing to the Grandma Tanakas of the world and the women who want to see the cute guys. In that case, Masato’s retirement match was about as fail-proof as you could get. Delivered in spades. He dominated all the media coverage coming out of the show and there was a “happy end” as one newspaper put it. DREAM vs. SRC as a standalone would have been lucky to draw 20,000 — so to draw a claimed 45,606 is a testamant to just what a draw Masato turned out to be. Good for him.

The reaction on Satoshi Ishii’s debut fight has been more or less a lot of headscratching. Hidehiko Yoshida’s all but finished and had to be swayed into doing the fight, since he has been considering retirement for a long time due to various ailments his body has had. (Remember the mystery ailment from a couple of years ago that was revealed about Yoshida being lethargic and always needing water?)

The public stance by K-1 management on Shin’ya Aoki is to not touch the subject of what happened as far as his post-fight antics. K-1 management and TBS had to be pissed. Aoki’s not a big media favorite, he’s not a big ratings draw on television, and what he did to Mizuto Hirota is the kind of thing that brings scandal onto NYE in the advertising world. New Year’s Eve always seems to have some sort of controversy, but having an arm broken the way it was and then the antics afterwards is the kind of thing that turns off the Grandma Tanakas of the world. I know DREAM would like to have Aoki vs. Melendez happen in Japan (as soon as March), but Strikeforce might end up with that fight in the States after all. They would be kidding themselves if they think it would draw a big number on CBS, however. Here are the photos (here and here) of Aoki’s antics after the fight.
Take note that in post-fight press interviews afterwards, Aoki claimed that he apologized for his attitude and that he did what he did because he was “excited.”

Topics: DREAM, Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “Quick news and notes from fallout of Dynamite 2009 event”

  1. Dave says:

    I actually just put some stuff up about the Aoki and KID fallout. KID’s image has been going down and down and down, the marijuana thing, losing his wife and not being able to win fights that fans see as easy fights for him is not a good thing. Last night he lost to a guy that while KID was enjoying the limelight was having troubles with ZST regulars that nobody KID appeals to has heard of. Disaster.

    Aoki shot himself in the foot, no doubt. It was actually dislocated and not broken, but honestly I feel like that is semantics at this point. Those things happen when you are a strong submission grappler like Aoki is and an iron-willed, proud competitor like Hirota.

  2. Chuck says:

    I would buy what Aoki said (I’ve done stupid shit like celebrating after winning wrestling and Judo matches, it happens) but, going by those photos, what Aoki did was pretty blatant and maybe even pre-meditated (meaning he was planning on it from before). That was worse than what Brock Lesnar pulled.

  3. Black Dog says:

    A convincing (and scary) way to win, to be sure; Aoki proved his point, he didn’t have to “point” it out, though.

    Bad form; kinda spoils the win in my view. I can understand emotion, sure; but that was too much.

    Hmmm…is that Dana White I hear calling?

  4. David says:

    KID (Keed-O) lost his wife? She is the most gorgeous woman ever!!!

    Aoki has had a few bad losses as well as getting brutalized by Mach. I was a huge Aoki fan for his rubber gaurd and judo, but he’s a shame as of late.

    TY much for the reportage Zach!

    Interesting how as MMA gains traction with big corporate ad dollars, the antics that were once semi-acceptable are now very dangerous to the credibility and marketability of the sport.

  5. Coyote says:

    Aoki with this actitud can be the new Akiyama, the Aokiyama that dream needs for now.

    About compare Lesnar, with Aoki antics, are vey diferent. Hirota, say a lot of shit of Aoki’s BJJ on the past day´s. And we know all the jap´s defend their gyms and style, like defend their mom’s. And you can count that Hirota destroys Kitaoka (Aokis friend on Sengoku)

    Diferent from the americans, where they can be friends one day, and the other fight each other.

    We have to be Japanese for understand this kind of things.

    And some question for you Zach Arnold:

    I read in the last interviews to Tanigawa and he say´s, that Sengoku have to commite Seppuku¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ (Kill themselves, go out of bussines) ¿or what is that?

  6. ajkido says:

    Bah. The Japanese characters didn’t work 🙁

  7. Fluyid says:

    Off-topic, but recent footage of Mayweather sparring:

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Aoki in American television = Who Gives A Crap. Don’t get me wrong… I would love to see Aoki vs. Melendez. As a fight itself, it is a very good one to make. Aoki has already beaten the Bellator and Sengoku champions. He could add the Strikeforce Champion to his list. But Aoki would have very little to no appeal to an American audience.

  9. Brad Wharton says:

    Exactly. I really don’t see the point in Aoki vs El Nino from a promotional standpoint.

    It’s not like Aoki is going to be fighting for Strikefore on a regular basis, so why would they throw him in with their champ right off the bat.

    Even if we forget for a second that the guy has no name value in the states outside of a few hardcore MMA hermits, unless they have a deal in place for him to return and defend the belt at least twice per year, it’s a bone-headed move.

    And don’t even get me started on non-title fights.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Think about it if Aoki wins either a title or non-title fight.

    1) Aoki Wins Title = Strikeforce now has 2 champions who are linked to DREAM. Potentially 3 if Marius wins. How do you put on a bunch of high level cards in a year when around 50% of your champions are fighting in another organization? You can’t, as we have seen with Overeem not defending his belt.

    2) Aoki Wins Non-Title Fight = Strikeforce belt becomes even more meaningless then before. It would take a minimum of 2 years to build back the credibility of that division.

    Either option spells doom for Strikeforce. No other way around it. We know Aoki won’t be a regular in Strikeforce with DREAM still knocking on the door.

    So really Scott Coker would be betting on a Gilbert Melendez win. Which could happen. But that is a dangerous gamble to make against a guy as dangerous as Shinya Aoki.

    With that said…. Aoki is without question the #2 Lightweight in the world. And despite making other fighters look like amateurs, he is still 2 steps below what BJ Penn is…. And I’m not BJ Penn fan… But the guy is just that good. Personally I would love to see the fight so Penn can make Aoki cry again…

  11. Mark says:

    I agree with 45, it’s bad both ways: either you champion looks weak losing and keeping his belt (which was the beginning of the end of Wanderlei Silva in ’05) or you’ll have 1 title fight a year because clearly Aoki would spend his time in Japan more than coming to America. Plus the people who know who he is are going to be watching the show anyway. The only reason to do it is so they can say they have BJ Penn’s biggest challenge (that he’d handily beat.)

    As for his actions it was probably a publicity stunt. For his stature in MMA, as Zach pointed out he’s hardly drawing Sakuraba numbers despite being universally hailed as the best MMA fighter in all of Japan. Maybe with the hottest thing in Japan now being the Kameda Brothers being the fighters you love to hate he wants in on the craze as well.

  12. klown says:

    Aoki should be penalized for his post-fight behavior.

    His win the other night was downright scary, but BJ Penn would batter Aoki into unconsciousness.

  13. urbanraida says:

    A-oki is an A-hole and the show from where I sit was on the whole pretty boring. It looks like I’m in the minority but I thought Super Hulk, Shibata and Kawa were mind numbing. Sefo, KID, Gono and Tokoro matches were fair to middling. Ishii-Yoshida was just plain weird. The officiating was suspicious. Overeem and Mousasi LOL. In the words of Jimmy Hart “when they cash their checks, they are stealing money, baby!”

    Congrats to Masato, I’m not particularly a fan but he has served K-1 more than honourably. Can MAX survive without him? Can he possibly avoid a fight with Petrosyan, especially if Doctor Giorgio continues his Matrix like cleaning out of the division?

  14. Bryan says:

    I think MAX can survive. I’d still like to see Petrosyan-Buakaw rematch, vs. Kyshenko.

  15. urbanraida says:

    Aye, Petrosyan against those two are THE matches in MAX for me, right now. Also Buakaw-Kyshenko. But word around the camp fire is that Buakaw is done with K-1. I hope it’s a bag of shit, also this heavily rumoured new “award the flashy fighters” way of scoring could debut in MAX in 2010. Hmmmm. Is Crystal Meth running the show at FEG?

  16. Bryan says:

    Yeah, I have read that as well. This link was posted on sherdog, but who knows what will happen:

  17. Steve4192 says:

    IMO, the biggest story coming out of this card should be the health of Fujita and downright criminal matchmaking that put him in the same ring with Overeem and Mousasi in the same ring with an old and busted Gary Goodridge. Those fights were a shining example of a promoter not giving a shit about the safety of their fighters and being more than willing to risk their health in an effort to make a buck.

    Unfortunately, no one seems to give a crap and just writes it off Japanese wackiness.


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