For two weeks there have been rumors that GLORY was planning on ditching the DREAM brand like a used condom after piggybacking a kickboxing tournament on DREAM’s traditional New Years Eve event. Now it sounds like they’ll be keeping the troubled MMA promotion alive:
DREAM, who is now officially owned and operated by GLORY, has plans of hosting four more shows in 2013, not including the NYE show that already occurred. In addition, the promotion plans to hold 10 kickboxing shows in the year 2013. No word as to whether or not these will be in Japan, but based on the interest garnered during the last event, it could certainly happen.
Real Entertainment, the operating entity that owned the DREAM brand went bankrupt earlier in 2012 and sold the rights off to an entity belonging to GSI (Glory Sports International). The exact details are sketchy, as with any international business deal, especially related to Japanese combat sports.
ROAD FC CEO Mun Hong Jung related his view of how that deal worked out for DREAM brass:
One example would be one of DREAM’s most important figures; executive producer Keiichi Sasahara. This once powerful figure in JMMA was now no different from an intern. He was literally ticketing people at the VIP entrance. That was a really shocking moment for me.
Also one of DREAM’s organizers, REAL ENTERTAINMENT’s President Kato, was running around sweating and clutching the microphone trying to get everything organized. Because we have someone with that job position at ROAD FC, I knew exactly what was going on. He was trying to make sure there would be no disruptions or mistakes in the tournament. He looked incredibly stressed and haggard.
Amidst all this the young 35 year old GLORY representative was sitting down comfortably. I began to feel sad and bitter about this situation. Not only was this event funded by foreign funds but also the once powerful Japanese MMA figureheads were working like they were a bunch of interns. I then noticed DEEP’s Saeki and PANCRASE’s Masakazu Sakai sitting down looking devastated.
OH NOES! THE GAIJIN HAVE ENSLAVED JAPANESE MMA! Keep in mind though that Jung is a bit of a strange cat – this is the same guy who continues to insist the UFC should pay him whenever they sign a fighter from his promotion. Thus far he hasn’t proven himself to be a batty Korean version of Mark Pavelich, but it’s a possibility.
My big question regarding keeping DREAM around is why? Why waste so much time and resources on such a financially troubled endeavor when you could be focusing all your efforts on much more lucrative kickboxing events? DREAM has already had its time – it did not catch on, and there are no interesting angles left to exploit or new stars coming up. The same fighters get trotted out event after event and there is no divisional structure or matchmaking that moves people through rankings. DREAM just is. And not in a good way. Maybe GLORY will fix these issues, but I have my doubts with the same people apparently still running the show while GLORY execs ‘relax at ringside.’