For the second anniversary of PRIDE’s unfortunate but inevitable death, Zach Arnold put together a list of lessons learned from the situation. You could fill a book with these lessons and I don’t understand why Zach hasn’t (seriously. SERIOUSLY!), but I’ll share the general gist with you here:
- The majority of MMA’s star power in Japan is reliant on pro-wrestling
- The more money MMA makes in Japan, the more the yakuza wants to get involved.
- Most Japanese entertainment entities are very good at running business on their home turf due to their nationalistic ways, but are just as lousy about exporting their product on a global scale because their knowledge of doing business is based solely on what the Japanese want.
- As WWE proved, UFC will not be able to run big in Japan unless they run a pure Japanese-style product and Zuffa is unwilling to do this.
- Once the MMA boom died in Japan, the business reset to pre-PRIDE levels.
I can’t disagree with any of Zach’s arguments but I can lament the fact that the fight scene has gotten itself locked into such a retarded three way with pro wrestling and organized crime. Even Lorenzo Fertitta is sounding like he’s sick of trying to sort Japan out, so all that talk a few months ago about the UFC invading … well, it’s not looking good to say the least.