clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Are Dream and K-1 About To Follow Pride Into Japanese MMA Heaven?


Remember back in the middle of July when Dream and K-1 promoter FEG announced a partnership with the investment bank PUJI in which PUJI was to invest $230 million dollars in FEG?  The deal caused K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa to announce war on the UFC?  Yeah, that one. 

Well, according to a reporting on, that investment of capital (if it ever comes) still may not stop FEG from sinking:

As you know, several FEG fighters have not been paid their guaranteed fight money. Bibiano Fernandes, Gary Goodridge, Andy Souwer, etc. Japanese MMA magazine Kamipro editor-in-chief Saito talked about the situation yesterday. Apparently this has been going on since the latter half of the 1st year of DREAM and it's not only foreign fighters who haven't been paid on time, it's Japanese fighters as well. It also seems like FEG have barely stayed alive these recent years. They were only able to pay fighters due to the money they got from the TV broadcast of Dynamite!! events in recent years. He reveals some of the reasons for them losing money:

* Due to the K-1 tax evasion in the past (which caused K-1 godfather Ishii to go to jail) additional tax has to be paid.
* The PRIDE Yakuza/Fuji TV scandal and the Akiyama greasing event lost them sponsors.
* Fight purses increasing.
* Decreased money from TV channels (last year it was down 30-50%).

Basically income has decreased while expenses have increased and it seems like the situation is even worse than we can guess. The PUJI deal seems to take a while since all kinds of preparations that need time are needed. But it's very bad right now, no announcement on the schedule of MAX, Koshien isn't 100%. He says: "I heard a somewhat unpleasant rumor...". In short, PUJI is the last ray of hope. If PUJI funds do not come in, it's "the end". Another question is if FEG can endure until then. At worst the 2010 World GP and DREAM.16 might be postponed or terminated completely. gives some more insight on the situation after the jump:

The story goes on to quote Japanese MMA magazine Kamipro's editor-in-chief Saito who says the non-payment issues have been going on since DREAM's inaugural event in 2008 and that the problem hasn't only affected non-Japanese fighters.  According to Saito, FEG stayed afloat in recent years thanks to the money it received from its TV broadcasts of Dynamite!! events, which could explain why DREAM decided to pull the plug on a March show in Korea after a TV deal fell through at the last minute.  Apparently the PUJI Capital investment deal they were touting as being their secret weapon to defeat the UFC in a global MMA war has taken longer than expected to finalize and if the money that was promised to them by the financial backer doesn't come soon, the organization will be forced to cancel its planned K-1 MAX Koshien and DREAM 16 events. Saito says if the PUJI deal falls through, the ramifications will be much worse than cancelled shows, it could mean "the end" of FEG.

Apparently, my dream of the UFC vs. Japanese MMA turning into "Monday Night Wars 2" might not be happening.   

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats