DREAM promise to bring back the glory days of Japanese MMA; Declare War on the UFC

Despite Japanese MMA bing on a downward spiral since the fall of PRIDE, Japanese MMA promotion DREAM has promised to bring fighting back to the East.  With the recent announcement of a some strong new Investment from Chinese company Puji Capital, DREAM are aiming to gain a foothold on the current Mixed Martial Arts audience. Originally, it appeared as though DREAM were in the process of a sale, but thankfully for Eastern MMA fans this isn’t the case.

Speaking at the press conference to announce the partnership, K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa took the oppurtunity to declare a war on WWE and UFC, aiming for a spot in the lucrative western market:

“This is a declaration of war against the WWE and UFC. From Asia, we will take the world,” Tanikawa stated.

“When K-1 and PRIDE were competing against each other, 80% of the martial arts market was in Japan. It is now the opposite and Japan is only 20%. We were worried that Japan would be left behind if we let this continue, it is unacceptable. We needed to change our business model… We’ve let Dana White get a lead on us. Before (Shinya) Aoki beats (Gilbert) Melendez, we must win as promoters.”

A possible rematch between Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki is off the radar for now, with the Strikeforce Lightweight Champ Melendez sidelined with a broken hand, so it seems the Japanese will have to wait a little while.

Shortly after this, SRC PR & Director Mukai tweeted; describing the approach they would take, saying:

“We’ll always take the “kenjitsu (steady, sound) kenzen (health)” (slowly but surely I guess) route.”

Exactly how this new plan of attack will go remains to be seen, but with PRIDE attendace figures still higher than UFC’s highest, it proves just how lucrative the Eastern market really is.

Props: MMA Fighting



  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Aoki will never beat Melendez but I like hearing this aggressive tone from them. I would love to see another org like Pride as long as they treat their fighters well.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Pound4pound/ pound4pound

    Lets see if they can actually do it, it would be great to have a show like pride back again

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/MMAeveryDay/ MMAeveryDay

    Pride was the best!

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Ninja/ Ninja

    I don’t think it will be as big as Pride, first of all most of the well known and talented fighters fight in America and secondly, UFC is too popular now not just in America but world wide and lastly, with the recent losses of Aoki and Akiyama (arguably two of the most famous Asian fighters) was a huge blow to the MMA world in Japan especially seeing that American fighters defeated them both…Japan had its chance to become world wide leader in MMA through Pride but when Pride fell UFC became the leader and I don’t see any way it’s going to fall

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Foolishhankk/ Foolishhankk

    They need the old pride rules

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Jizzle11/ Jizzle11

    Japanese MMA will never be better. USA talent is too good, USA crowds are a lot more supportive and excitable, USA fighters hype up fight better, USA is just overall better.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/MMAeveryDay/ MMAeveryDay

    Japan MMA is more respectful and sportsman like and I don’t care what anybody say’s but Pride had the best presentation as well. USA crowds aren’t more “supportive” of MMA, they are simply more intoxicated and want to see blood so they scream like ape’s. A SPORT doesn’t need grudge matches, it just needs skilled athletes to perform. Who’s better!?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Japanegro23/ japanegro23

    I agree. As a whole Japanese people respect more parts of the game. Most know what they are looking at when a fight goes to the ground. A lot of people in the states get impatient. There are exceptions to both of course. A lot of people above are talking about how the Japanese wont ever be as good as fighters in America and in general I believe that, but in Pride a lot of the stars weren’t Japanese. It will be interesting to see what DREAM does. If they pay well enough they should be able to attract a lot of talent. They usually sell out to attendances of 70, 80, and 90 thousand and that can bring in a bunch of revenue to pay fighters.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Jackthedrinker89/ jackthedrinker89

    Just wondering if you were the CEO or the GM of a major organization of anything like lets say McDonalds, would you not shoot at the chance to pick up the most popular burger or food that everyone wants at the time before burger king? Make sense i know its a stupid comparison but im right. Dana does what he can do to try to do his job great and try to please the fans and he wants the best so he goes for it.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Dabs/ Dabs

    I agreed with everything you said apart from I believe Aoki has a 50/50 chance in a rematch with Melendez….

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Especially the rules regarding strikes to downed opponents and the brutal 10 min first round. It made it more like a real fight as opposed to a sport. A much better way to test oneself as a martial artist.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Why would the Japanese fighters never be as good? There was a time when any serious BJJ practitioner went to Brazil to get their black belt because getting a black belt in the U.S. didn’t mean anything. Now some of the best BJJ schools are in the U.S. Things change. The Japanese are human beings with a head, a torso and four limbs. They have as much potential as anyone else.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Neuschwabenland

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Lopresti1/ lopresti1

    imo the stomps and knees and kicks to the head of ground opponent remind me more of streetfighting than martial arts

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/MMAeveryDay/ MMAeveryDay

    High 5!

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Japanegro23/ japanegro23

    I’m just saying…. you won’t see the NBA dominated by whites, an NFL line full of 180 pounders, or baseball without steroids hahaha!!! They all have the freakin potential I know but realistically you probably won’t see Japanese dominate the MMA scene. One big reason is they don’t like to cut weight. I could go on for days but I won’t. I’m not saying they can’t but I don’t think they will dominate and I stand by my previous statement where I say that will not hold DREAM back.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/UrHype/ UrHype

    I like the yellow card deductions. Keeps them busy.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/UrHype/ UrHype

    I boned a chick from there once…nevermind she was from Nookiwoobieland.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/BlueClearSky/ BlueClearSky

    The more UFC have competition they have to be better and be honest with you good for fighters they have more option and deserves a lot more moneys.imo

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Martial Art is the Art of surviving any situation. If you can’t find a way of nullifying head stomps and knees in those situations then what good is your training? Street fighting is what the Martial Arts are there to prepare us for.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/IChokePeople/ IChokePeople

    Believe it or not it’s a real place and a better joke than you might think ;).

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Japanegro23/ japanegro23

    Weird convo going on here. See what the U.S.A. started haha.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Japanegro23/ japanegro23

    Yes yes and yes on yellow cards!!! Or they can be blue, or purple, green or whatever.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Jackthedrinker89/ jackthedrinker89

    You want a better comparison then? Idk if anyone else up here is a huge sports fan but i am and MMA just happens to be in my top 2 favs, but how come nobody complains about the
    NFL, NBA, NHL, FIFA?? The world cup comes around everyones like lets go my country! but no one ever says well how come the MLS cant host the World Cup or have their own World Cup? No one ever says How come the NFL has all the best players?? I sure wish the CFL (Canadian Football league) would be just as popular the NFL, the NFL is a monopoly!!! so now that ive said that maybe thatll make more sense to ya…

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Lopresti1/ lopresti1

    not really tru martial arts is about technique and ground stomps definately arent. true martial arts is about respect and ground stomps are definately not respectful. i knw wat tru martial arts is i took karate for 6 years and i train in all aspects of mma at an actual gym.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Lopresti1/ lopresti1

    yea but the only problem is tht american fighters are stronger n cut weight to dominate smaller guys in their division. japanese fighters generally dnt cut much weight and usually fight at their normal weight. plus n this is just an observation but most japanese fighters are usually one demensional fighter except mayb akiyama. but i only know a couple asian fighters so idk

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Lopresti1/ lopresti1

    but im all for ground stomps in the chest or stomach. i jus think to the head is disrespectful

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Azzkika/ azzkika

    Anyone with enough money could destroy UFC. They only have to offer fighters better contracts and most will go where the money is. If the backers have enough in the bank they can be viable, particularly now I hear the Fertillas missed a $300M payment and may be in trouble.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Azzkika/ azzkika

    He only pleases fans if he’s making money, otherwise he blocks fights if he can, ask Couture.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Azzkika/ azzkika

    Does the NFL take on players it didn’t really want, but had them so CFL couldn’t get them?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Azzkika/ azzkika

    And does the NFL stop Nike or whoever is main sponsor from sponsoring players in CFL?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Azzkika/ azzkika

    And does the NFL tell players after a loss they getting less wages or they are out of a job?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Rafaelroberto840/ Rafaelroberto840

    WWE sucks ass now

  • http://lowkickmma.com/members/Kbljm/ kbljm

    dream winning a war against ufc is a long shot. you gotta get fighters up in the rank first. pride went down because it was to corrupt.