Yesterday’s news that FEG was teaming up with the Chinese to save MMA in Japan gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, DREAM would start running their events like fucking professionals instead of total sketchbags. That means actually booking fights before announcing them, solidifying cards more than 5 days in advance, and not playing musical chairs with fighters amongst other things. But thus far I haven’t heard a whole lot that makes me think things are going to be very different moving forward. Here’s FEG’s US director on what they’re trying to do:
Kogan said the new infusion of cash could go toward developing new talent and ways to get DREAM’s product to consumers in Japan and around the world – hopefully, at a premium. But he is at heart a realist and says that money alone is not the solution to DREAM’s problems.
In line with Tanikawa, Kogan said FEG’s goal is to get strong in Japan before it branches out in Europe and other markets.
“Just funds alone are not enough,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why all these MMA organizations that come out in the U.S., [such as] EliteXC, IFL and all these other places – even Bellator, I think Bellator is on their way out pretty soon – they think that you go get venture capital money, and you’re like, ‘OK, I’ve got 100 million dollars, I’m going to get all these people to fight each other and life will be good.’ Obviously, as its shown, that’s not true.
“The focus (for DREAM) right now is on lightweights and featherweights just because there’s a bigger talent pool, especially in Japan. But realistically speaking, if you want to get big, you need big guys. That was the biggest thing that PRIDE had was the heavyweights and light heavyweights that drove the organization.”
The solution is most definitely in growing Japanese stars. But the way DREAM manages it’s roster would have to be completely overhauled. Good fighters from smaller organizations would have to be scouted and brought in, dead weight attached to politically strong managers and people would have to go, and rosters would have to be managed in a way lightyears beyond anything DREAM has shown the ability thus far to pull off.
I’ve heard people say that a lot of the crap that DREAM did / didn’t do / said it would do but then didn’t was caused by being dicked around by it’s TV partners. If this deal gives DREAM the ability to start playing chess instead of cheating at checkers, there might be some hope. But I haven’t exactly heard anyone saying that the way DREAM has been running so far has been a complete failure and a lot of that has to do with the people running it.