Head Kick Legend reports:
FEG was able to come to terms with WVR and acquire Satoshi Ishii for a fight at DREAM.16. The problem? The fight was announced within days of the event, allowing FEG and TBS to do minimal promotion for the event. This all led to what turned out to be less-than-stellar ratings for DREAM 16, with Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Satoshi Ishii as a strong draw in the press, but only Ishii's second bout on Japanese soil and Ishii doing very little press since the loss in December.
The final ratings for the event were 11.9%, almost a full point decline from their last primetime event, DREAM.11. With FEG in dire straights, one has to wonder how this looks to investment bank PUJI as well as what this means for the TBS/FEG relationship.
More bad news for Japanese MMA. FEG pulled out the stops for what may be the very last DREAM show ever, but it may have been too little, too late.
American fans may not care or may even celebrate a jingoistic triumph of the collapse of Japanese MMA, but those of us with memories remember that Japanese fans kept the sport alive and growing ten years ago when American authorities and cable companies nearly succeeded in driving the sport into the ground.
Losing the Japanese market as a major outlet for MMA is a loss for the sport. It will mean less money for promoters and fighters, fewer options for fans and a diminished MMA world.