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Akira Maeda to the rescue?

Old-school pro wrestler and RINGS creator Akira Maeda sounds like he wants to ramp up his participation in Japanese MMA:

At yesterday’s press conference Maeda said that right now in Japanese MMA there are some promoters (any guesses?) who don’t operate properly so he has to do something. In The Outsider there are currently around 10 pro level fighters which means that The Outsider has a solid influence on the foundation of fighters.

So if I understand correctly he wants to capitalize on that and make The Outsider a professional producing promotion and for the sake of Japanese MMA he’s considering the revival of the RINGS Network (where the pro level fighters of The Outsider could fight). Or he means that he wants to create a new event instead of The Outsider (foundation for fighters) and professionalize The Outsider as the revival of the RINGS Network. Either way he’s considering the revival of the RINGS Network (which has been out since February of 2002).

Don’t get too excited though. There’s a couple of small problems with the idea of Maeda returning Japanese MMA to it’s former glory … mainly the fact that his current project The Outsider is quite literally a gangster fight promotion. When you’re in a country where other promotions have been sunk due to Yakuza ties and Enson Inoue can’t even get into several evacuee centers due to tattoos, what are the chances that a guy who’s current endeavor doesn’t just flirt but flaunts it’s affiliations will be the one to save Japanese MMA?

JMMA needs a sketch free promotion that knows how to create stars and can wrangle a television deal. Maeda may be able to do some cool stuff and could even turn out some new names in an increasingly old and busted scene, but his Outsider events are a scandal waiting to happen. Even if he scrapped that concept and revived RINGS, the TV networks aren’t going to touch him with a ten foot pole.

Still, when you factor in the idea that maybe it’s going to be a few years before a new A league emerges in Japan (or the UFC finally gets there), it’s exciting to hear that Maeda is going to put efforts into organizing events for new fighters to flourish. That’s the glass half full way of seeing this and aside from the previous reality check, I’m happy to subscribe to that school of thought.

  • G Funk

    Sup wit these Jap chicks wearing bras that are way too large for them?

  • Shibo

    This is an interesting bit of news but somewhere in there should be a plug for The Outsider shows as some of the most entertaining events of all time. Gangster MMA is awesome, haha.

  • nolanfc

    “JMMA needs a sketch free promotion that knows how to create stars and can wrangle a television deal”

    Proposing Maeda restart RINGS is naive. He ran the (pro-wrestling) promotion for something like eleven years, had gigantic star power (but only in hindsight) for his (legit) King of Kings tournaments and the promotion still folded because he only knows how to promote himself.

    He had a second chance with HERO’S and as great as it was at times ultimately did nothing for JMMA. Now he’s running a promotion that yakuza can compete in and you’re proposing that he have a hand in the salvation of JMMA?

    JMMA needs someone from outside pro-wrestling, however that’s difficult to achieve because MMA has only ever been successfully promoted to Joe Average either by or using pro-wrestlers.

  • 32hunter

    any links to these outsider events floating around? these look like great fun.