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MMA Link Club: Heating up for UFC Japan 2012

By Zach Arnold | February 21, 2012

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The line for the main event is as razor-thin as you can image. Frankie Edgar is a very slight -130 favorite. Ben Henderson is even money.

Member sites of the MMA Link Club

This week’s MMA Link Club featured stories

Five Ounces of Pain: Bart Palaszewski is not impressed by Hatsu Hioki’s UFC debut

“Hioki’s actually a fight we asked for,” said Palaszewski. “Before my fights, I always make up my list with my coaches and my management — guys we’re going to go after in case I lose or if I win a fight. We got to turn the winning list into the UFC last time, and Hioki was at the top of the list.”

MMA Fighting: Mauro Ranallo reminisces about the glory days of PRIDE

Fightline: Ben Henderson on a quest to become the best in the world

“I don’t think me beating Frankie at all gets me anywhere near the conversation,” Bendo went on. “I’d have to beat Frankie, then beat a couple other guys, defend the belt — what is Anderson up to? He’s up to like, twelve right now? Thirteen? After I beat Anderson’s record, whatever he stops at — fourteen times, fifteen times — after I beat that, then the conversation can begin.”

Cage Potato: 15 photos of Cage Warriors ring girl Natalie Lawrence

Chandella Powell was unavailable for comment.

MMA Mania: Undercard preview for UFC 144 and predictions

Hint: Expect a lot of undercard decisions as opposed to finishes.

5th Round: Joe Rogan responds to Rampage calling him a crap-talker & one-dimensional

“When I talk about his game it’s because I have to analyze things objectively, and I think he’s one of the toughest, most dangerous guys in the game. If I describe something that I wish he would do it’s because I think his athletic and fighting potential is immense.”

Bleacher Report: UFC 144 — The Top best Japanese fighters in MMA history

This is an interesting list because if you look at the top Japanese fighters in the UFC, most of them were not big stars back in Japan and never gained heavy mainstream appeal. Two of the most well-known Japanese fighters, Kid Yamamoto & Yoshihiro Akiyama, are looking to break out of slump mode at Saitama Super Arena.

Darth Vader and a gang of Stormtroopers accompanied Amanda Lucas at DEEP 57

It’s fair to say that she’s the biggest star that Japan has ‘created’ since the death of K-1. Look at what she did to Yumiko Hotta’s face.

Lowkick: Tim Boetsch says he’s going to smash Yushin Okami

The Fight Nerd: Damon Lau of Round 5 MMA action figures at NY Toy Fair 2012

MMA Convert: Japanese MMA scene primer – the Pancrase edition

MMA Payout: UFC hard sell for advertisers while on Versus

The Sports Business Journal reported on the drop in ratings of NBC Sports Network as it rolled out its new name and brand last month. The article also comments on the fact that NBC found it difficult finding advertisers for the UFC when it was on the network.

Topics: Japan, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 23 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

23 Responses to “MMA Link Club: Heating up for UFC Japan 2012”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Bunch of people claiming that smoking weed helped out their endurance. Perhaps there is something to it being a PED after all….


    1) Bart P isn’t exactly the greatest fighter in the world, but I could easily see him beaten Hatsu Hioki. Sort of feels like Feather & Bantam are a little thin right now. I think there is a lot of talent coming up that will fix that problem long term…. But for the next year there will be a gap.

    2) I don’t understand the big deal about Chandella. She posed nude. Who cares. She is a ring card girl, not a member of a conservative christian group that promotes family values. I would be more shocked if there WASN’T nude photos of her out there. On a side note, she has a much hotter nude body then Arriany…. Who has one of the worst looking female butts I have seen on a “hot” girl.

    3) Amanda Lucas is the real deal. Good for her to carve out her own nitch in life. Oprah did an interview with George Lucas earlier this year and he said that his money is his money, not his kids. And that he bought them a car and basically forced them to live in their own. Tough love. He did come across as a guy who would help them out if they really needed it, but he certainly isn’t the one financing her stardom.

    4) Versus is not in a good position right now. They have the NHL and that is about it. They really would be in a better position if they could have outbid some of the sports content on the non-sports cable channels. Stuff like the UFC, college football on FX, NBA on TNT, and MLB Playoffs on TBS. There is no reason as a sports channel they should be losing out on this content. But they constantly are.

    • The Gaijin says:


      Bunch of people claiming that smoking weed helped out their endurance. Perhaps there is something to it being a PED after all….


      Lay off the crackpipe – that’s really bad for your health. Much worse that Diaz’s cush.

      ROTFLMFAO…are you seriously citing an MMA Underground forum and “bunch of people” (there’s two people there from what I saw) claiming it helped their endurance provides an argument that it is a PED after all!??!?! Anecdotal evidence from a couple of anonymous posters who train…lolz.

      Maybe read the Harvard study that says the exact opposite or the other studies that say at best, “Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.”

      “Not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function” is nowhere near may be a “PED” after all.

      Seriously, give that sh*t up already.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Actually, I think The UG is a great place to find out the affects of weed and various other illegal substances.

        I don’t smoke so I wouldn’t know.

        I just found it funny that on the same website people are always saying how weed should be allowed in MMA. And then some of the same people claim that it helps them when they run.

        And you are over thinking it. I just thought it was an interesting discussion…. Not evidence from the scientific community.

      • 45 Huddle says:


        1) Nick Diaz doesn’t occasional use weed.

        2) I really would have thought somebody would have commented on me watching Oprah then me posting a link about weed.

        You are slipping!! lol

        • The Gaijin says:

          “Actually, I think The UG is a great place to find out the affects of weed and various other illegal substances.”

          Hah! Good one.

          “And you are over thinking it. I just thought it was an interesting discussion…. Not evidence from the scientific community.”

          Yeah, most likely. But when you lead with “Perhaps there is something to it being a PED after all….” based on a few internet posters claims, you’re on pretty thin ice in terms of having any sane argument that it’s a PED.
          “1) Nick Diaz doesn’t occasional use weed.”

          Right, but the conclusion of the study was that they could not find adverse effects associated with “occasional and low cumulative use”. Given those findings the next logical argument/hypothesis would be that habitual and high cumulative use was most likely going to be associated with adverse effects given increased exposure/use – not that it was a performance enhancer. That argument could very well be wrong, but I don’t think you can make the leap from occasional use not being associated with adverse effects to chronic use being associated with performance enhancement.

          It’s a nice “discussion” point for stoners to sit around and deliberate, but I don’t think there’s much grounding in science that it’s a performance enhancer.

          I don’t watch Oprah, but I’m not going to bust your chops and call you “gay” or something b/c you watched her show. Not to mention watching Oprah when she’s got an interview subject that goes well beyond her normal target audience doesn’t strike me as being particularly deserving of scorn.

    • Mark says:

      I’ll bet UFC’s issue is similar to WWE being irritated that a few of their women did nude scenes in movies before signing with them, since back then before they went TV-PG the big thing was a Playboy issue with one of their women coming out in April for Wrestlemania for 7 or 8 years straight. Now UFC is taking over their “pimp our girls to Hef for publicity” role and Playboy generally wants first timers in their pictorials, so Chandella probably wouldn’t get a UFC Playboy deal now.

  2. jcf says:

    TV Tokyo will be broadcasting UFC 144 in a late-night slot. This seems like a game-changer, but I’m interested to hear the Fight Opinion take.

    • Steve4192 says:

      A tape delayed showing in a late-late night time slot on the smallest of the major networks?

      I wouldn’t call that a game changer. It’s definitely progress, but it’s not a game changer.

      To me, it sounds similar to Strikeforce’s stint on late-late night NBC back before they signed the Showtime deal. A nice get, but nothing game changing.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Steve is right on this front. That said, TV Tokyo is pay-to-play and that was what Dentsu wanted for the first show.

      The question is what kind of deal they got and what the time frame is.

      TV Tokyo covers the largest TV market (Kanto) but it doesn’t carry into the other major markets like Osaka, Nagoya, so on and so forth.

    • Mark says:

      Let’s put it like this.

      Say DREAM had the same deal.

      What would the Zuffaite reaction be?

      A) “Wow, that’s a gamechanger for DREAM. They might work their way back on TV now.”

      B) “It’s only a gamechanger if people see it, and tape delayed shows don’t fare well, much less at late night.”

      C) “Oh my God, you Zuffa haters are so stupid. Of course this isn’t a gamechanger, you’re just putting false hope in to save Japan even though Japan sucks and smells like fish!”

  3. Body_Shots says:

    I think it could be a game changer long term if their product catches on. When’s the last time any MMA was on a major network in Japan? (who cares if it’s the smallest)

    I got to give to the UFC, I did buy into this just being a vanity show at first, but Dentsu now TV Tokyo, I’m impressed, I was postive they wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Let’s see how well they draw now.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      The last time UFC was on TV Tokyo was when Gomi faced Kenny Florian and Roy Nelson fought Struve on that show from Charlotte.

      The show did a low rating and UFC hadn’t been back on with a full-scale show since then.

      TV Tokyo is basically an audition, a boutique play to try to get onto a better network.

    • Mike says:

      I just went to check the Jpn tv schedules hoping that just maybe I’d be able to catch some UFC Japan highlights Sunday night on regular tv. Well balls to that plan, since they’re only being broadcast in Tokyo (I’m in Osaka) and at 3:15am. So don’t be too impressed by their tv deal. It sucks.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Nathan Marquardt back with Zuffa….

    He is fighting Tyron Woodley for the vacant STRIKEFORCE Welterweight Title.

    Makes sense to bring him into Strikeforce. He has some name value, can headline a card, and really has no shot of winning a title in the UFC anyways.

    • EJ says:

      Anyone think Nate chokes in the big fight again or does the SF title not count as a big fight for him?. Either way i’m interested to see how he looks at WW, I always thought he was a pretty big MW but he could be a monster at 170 and Woodley is very beatable at this point.

      • edub says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Nate got out wrestled by Woodley. However, I completely agree that if he does it right he will be a freaking monster.

      • Megatherium says:

        Nate actually fought at 170 when he was at Pancrase so it’s not something he hasn’t done before, although it’s been years now. Much like Anderson Silva, people forget these guys had long careers at 170 before moving up to mw.

        Has Woodley been confirmed as the opponent?

  5. Zach Arnold says:

    TV Tokyo will air 90-minute highlight version of UFC Japan show from 3:15 AM to 4:45 AM JST after the show is done.

    Don Quijote & UFC Undisputed 3 are the TV sponsors.

    This was a last-minute deal by Dentsu.

    It’s about as ineffective of a deal as you could possibly cut. Horrible time slot, no real juice for sponsorship. But I did get the Don Quijote-backing-UFC item right in my earlier reports.

  6. Body_Shots says:

    It doesn’t matter. Did anyone expect them to be on TV other than WOWOW? Did anyone predict they’d have Dentsu backing them? Doesn’t seem like a vanity foray into Japan does it? It’s not so much the last minute deal, it’s that they’re able to get anything done in Japan. After the PRIDE fiasco who believed it was possible?

    Who’s to say they can’t get a better deal down the road? Maybe they won’t, but their prospects look a lot more promising than some of the other international markets they’re in.

    For DREAM, Sengoku or Inoki it’d be horrible to be on at (they’re not on at all btw). For the UFC’s first push into the Japanese market it’s not bad at all.

    Do I think the UFC will ever catch on in Japan? No, but with some of their connections they might be able to capitalize on it if they do.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Top article on yahoo right now.

    At this point, I am almost positive that Dana White picks fights or says stupid stuff on purpose just to get the UFC name out there the week of a PPV.

    It happens far too often just at the right time for it to be by accident….

    • Steve4192 says:

      “At this point, I am almost positive that Dana White picks fights or says stupid stuff on purpose just to get the UFC name out there the week of a PPV.”

      There is no doubt in my mind that he does that. Floyd does the same thing to keep his name in the news. It was only a matter of time before their paths converged.

    • Mark says:

      I figured this out in 2005 when Bald Dana, the brash alterego of Balding Dana, took over. 🙂

      • Steve4192 says:


        His current pattern didn’t start until he discovered social media (Twitter, Facebook, vlogging), and figured out the cut-and-paste bots in the MMA media would get all frothed up anytime he says something controversial.


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