Japanese MMA: Primary Sponsor Pulls Out, Sengoku Headed For Oblivion

March 11, 2011

Sengoku MMAJapanese fight promotion Sengoku Raiden Championship is all but finished.

SRC on Friday issued a press release stating that it’s primary sponsor, Don Quijote, has pulled all financial backing from the company. This completely cripples the fight promotion unless a last-minute savior appears… which isn’t likely.

SRC and Dream both stepped in, trying to seize an opportunity, when the UFC’s parent company purchased Pride in 2007 and was unable to forge a working business model in Japan, shutting down the venerable fight promotion.

Dream has garnered much media attention lately as well, primarily for delayed or non-payment of fighters, as well as struggling television ratings and live draws.

Officials at Don Quijote finally tired of the ever-growing pool of red ink and ceased funding Sengoku.

Neither Sengoku nor Dream has been able to gain any traction since Pride folded. The market appears to have dried up in Japan, even though the UFC continues to say it has its sights set on the Land of the Rising Sun, possibly running a live event in Japan later this year.

Sengoku’s statement indicated that Don Quijote would continue to back Pancrase and Shooto, but did not say to what the extent.

Several notable fighters – such as Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, and others – fought under the Sengoku banner during its two-and-half-year run.