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Mixed martial arts-ONE vows to succeed where UFC failed - Japan

9 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

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UFC failed in Japan cause Japanese fighters weren't that good. People want to support winners and there were very few from Japan. UFC does better in Korea as their fighters win more often. . Pride and K1 had stacked cards assuring that a Japanese fighter would go deep into the competition. This "Asian values" spin is marketing dribble and sounds like Japanese Pro Baseball with it's limits on stronger better overseas players. The best will still go to the UFC just like Ichiro and Ohtani went to play in the majors.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

UFC was asking more than top level prices for lower level talent and weak cards. The market is there if they get realistic on the prices or make the exorbitant price worth it by bringing top talent to the shows.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The UFC didn't fail due to xyz... When the UFC bought out Pride and were doing the transition, the Pride bronze were already developing another organization in side UFC offices. Since then Dana White has been extremely bias towards Japanese fighters and Japan in general. This has been elaborated a few times on the Joe Rogan Experience.

Despite that, other organizations like Bellator and ONE are great. It allows young fighters to get the experience and camera time to make it into the UFC and fight with the best. But, this BS about the Asian approach/cultural treasure is nonsense. The scene died and isn't returning to the old days of Saitama Super Arena being packed, despite the Asian ran ONE. As much as I would love to see it boom again... I don't think Japan is in that phase. Other parts of Asia will have that same vibe, but not Japan sadly...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The way they let Pride and K1 fall from grace and disintegrate was a real shame for Japan as it was well established, attracted the best fighters of the generation from around the globe ( who became household names and celebrates) and was very entertaining.  The annual new years eve fight  extravaganza was awesome and I really looked forward to it every year with the build up to the finals. Then it was gone. Like a struggling office worker after recontracting. Never to be seen , nor spoken of again!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If I remember well the last few ufc held in Japan were Sunday morning events to accommodate live Saturday night broadcasts in the us. Was the same in Sydney and Melbourne I.e late morning early arvo events.

Not saying it's the only reason the ufc failed but it certainly didn't help.

Agree with iparryu, just don't think Japan is the right market for now. Boxing is still doing well here which is a good thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most UFC cards were terrible because they tried too hard to woo locals with a card stocked with Japanese fighters. The problem was the fighters were mostly has-beens, never-weres or just plain bad at MMA. Japan does not have many great fighters and I think the majority of spectators here are basically not true fans of the sport. They are only watching to see the Japanese athlete in that sport, as in all the new Los Angeles Angels ''fans''. I am a fan of the sport and if the card is good, I watch regardless of where the fighters were born or their racial makeup. If you think 'Asian values' (what bull!) are what Japanese want, go for it. The UFC is successful elsewhere in the world because they showcase the best. Same for the NBA, NFL, Premier League, etc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pride used to stack the deck in favor of japanese fighters. It was entertaining but it turned sour once you saw through the corruption and farce. Google the insightful (and very aptly named) article 'Prude and Prejudice'.

with the UFC at least you get the real thing. And the quality is top rate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pride and Prejudice, that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a former Navy Seal well-versed in sambo (military/combat), muay thai, greco roman, boxing and systema, I am so happy where MMA is at today. UFC really did a decent job of evolving and legalizing into a legitimate, mainstream sport not only in the US but also globally as well.

I've been a big fan of combat sports since the early days of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, Tank Abott, Mark Coleman, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Frank Shamrock and many other legends that are too many to mention.

If we overlook the corruption part of Pride for a moment, arguably that organization had better entertainment value. Man I still get goosebumps from stars such Bas, Fedor, Crocop, Hunt, Silva, Big Nog, Igor, Rampage, Shogun, Gracies, Sakuraba and many more other legends.

Pride put on a lot of not so technical fights but nonetheless very fun and entertaining to watch. I missed it especially with their tournament formats. But even at Pride's peak, UFC overall at that time still had better long term sustainable business model.

It's good to see organizations such as ONE and many other minor league MMA orgs are stepping up their promotional game on. This is very healthy for MMA industry and makes competition for talent even better.

Dana and co. are going to be very happy because of having more options to recruit prospects all over the world. UFC will gladly send in their talent scouts globally to look for prospective skilled fighters to go onto the big stage.

I'm looking forward for ONE to attract more talents in Asia. This is as very good development for MMA in the big picture as a sport. Also a great opportunity for fighters to showcase their skills to see if they have what it takes to compete into a bigger stage like UFC.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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