Okay, so I promise this is the last Dynamite related posting unless Sakuraba’s head explodes when a doctor taps his knee with one of those little rubber hammers.
After the UFC bought Pride, K1 was by far the biggest competition they had left. This Dynamite show was supposed to be the beginning of K1’s North American push and if it had been done right it would have meant the UFC had a serious contender on it’s hands. While not exactly popular in America, K1 is still a recognizable brand and they have an existing global framework. In Japan all signs were pointing to an all out war between K1 and the new PRIDE, with K1 talking trash and pushing the foreign devil angle hard.
What a difference one show can make. When K1 booked a stadium for their show, I thought they had just shot themselves in the foot. Now it’s becoming apparent that they may have shot themselves directly in the face. The CSAC sanctioning body are a bunch of pricks that you don’t want to jerk around, and it seems like this is exactly what K1 is doing. So far the commission has put on a reasonable face to the public, but don’t think for a second they’re happy with all the incompetance. If the CSAC wasn’t getting a cut of the gate money, they’d have told K1 to go fuck themselves sometime last week.
Whoever’s in charge of things for K1 needs to be fired, immediately. K1 needs to ante up and pay someone who knows what they’re doing to come in and clean up this mess. Obviously Dana White’s not about to help out, but there’s already the Strikeforce connection through Gary Shaw (who himself must have some connections in the CSAC) and Ed Fishman, who seems to fancy himself as a man who can solve problems.
Regardless of who it is, something has to be done. With no one effective at bat for K1, their fighters are already being refused licenses. The fact that Dynamite promoters claim they don’t even know why is either a testament to their impotence or idiocy in the matter. They should have a guy camped outside CSAC offices, supervising every moment fighters spend with the commission or their representatives.
The ramifications if this show tanks are huge. As ‘Mr Japan Scandal’ Zach Arnold mentions, this goes far beyond losing a pile of money: K1 has sold the television rights to this shit around the world. They probably could have had an empty stadium and still made money off all the TV money paid by stations in Japan, Korea, and elsewhere in the east. But if the show doesn’t happen or marquee fighters like Hong Man Choi or Sakuraba don’t compete, it could cause massive damage to K1’s relationship with these television stations. And I think we all remember what happened to PRIDE when they lost their TV deal.
It’s looking like the UFC might win this war with K1 without having to fire a single shot. And after K1, who else is there to compete with Zuffa’s growing empire of MMA? Sure, there are a number of middling promotions who are managing to put together interesting cards, but there’s currently no one with the necessary bankroll to give the UFC a real run for their money. In the years to come, people may look back at June 2nd as the day the UFC truly won the battle for control of mixed martial arts.