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The Dream is Gone; Japanese MMA Promotion Runs Out of Viable Options

Posted on by Ken Pishna

The writing was on the wall when Dream had to cancel its planned July mixed martial arts event in Japan, but it has become more and more evident that the follow-up to Pride is all but officially out of business.

MMA-Japan.com early Sunday morning reported that Dream is “no longer a going concern,” and multiple MMAWeekly.com sources have confirmed that doors are closing on Dream.

Pretty much all of the Real Entertainment (the company that operated Dream) staff have moved on to other endeavors, and the company has apparently stopped returning calls to nearly all of its fighters and their representatives, ceasing day-to-day operations.

Dream had fallen on hard times over the past few years with attendance down and TV deals falling to the wayside. About the only viable product left was the annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza’s that had become a staple of the holiday in Japan.

Real Entertainment had wanted to continue with that tradition, but needed Saitama Super Arena to make it viable.

Saitama, however, wanted Dream to do a two-event deal, the first event being the July show. When Dream couldn’t pull off a July event, Saitama backed out and will instead give the New Year’s Eve slot to someone else.

Without Saitama Super Arena on board, Dream really doesn’t have any viable options left for New Year’s Eve, which really was a last gasp for survival in the first place.

Even though the UFC finally returned to Japan earlier this year, there aren’t many viable options left on home soil now for Japanese fighters, at least not many at the highest levels of the sport.

One FC has begun to spread its wings in Asia and will likely become a home for many of the fighters, while several others will probably bolt for the greener pastures of North America, where several fighters could land in promotions like the UFC, Strikeforce, or Bellator.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/Gruvalicious Josee Angel

    That sucks, hopefully this won’t be the downfall of Japanese MMA. Since that is where history was made.

  • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

    Predictable outcome.

    The Japanese MMA scene died with Pride. While small, one-off upstarts will appear from time to time, the days of the big show are over. The fan base and market just isn’t there anymore.

    • b-soc

      Agreed. It really won’t be possible to get a big MMA organization running in Japan with what happened.

  • blaity

    MMA in general died with Pride

    It will never be as good as the glory days of Pride