A few weeks back I opined that World Victory Road and their SENGOKU promotion would probably surpass DREAM as the premier MMA organization in Japan.
Well that day has gotten much much closer. DREAM has lost their network TV deal.
Is this it for big-time MMA in Japan? According to Zack Arnold a lot was riding on DREAM's success:
With the death of PRIDE and K-1 struggling to grab a share of the Japanese MMA market, DSE staffers and K-1 aligned together under the auspices of the Ishii-Kawamata connection. The idea on paper is simple - take K-1's brand power on Japanese television and combine it with DSE-style live-show promoting capabilities. Combine this with DSE-style repetitive GP tournaments and K-1's PR machine and hope that you can create a modified version of PRIDE, with K-1 essentially running the purse strings.
World Victory Road presents a friendly face to the public, making sure to keep any controversial individuals involved out of the public spotlight. Much of this new organization's success will be determined by how well they are able to continue to do so over the long term.