With each passing day we see yet another indication that the Japanese MMA scene is rapidly imploding. First PRIDE:
The Fight Network's Japanese correspondent Gino Mongelli reports that Nippon Gaishi Hall (formerly Nagoya Rainbow Hall) has removed the previously listed PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix 2007 Opening Round from its event calendar for July 16. In early May, PRIDE representative Nobuhiko Takada had told the Japanese press that the always-anticipated tournament had been moved from May 20 to that date following the promotion's purchase by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, from Dream Stage Entertainment. While the Fertittas announced they'd purchased the PRIDE organization on March 27, it has been established the transaction is still in play between the two entities at this time.The hullabahoo surrounding the "Zuffa buys PRIDE" press conference convinced everyone the deal was as good as done. Apparently not. Zach Arnold and Frank Trigg have both said the deal is far from set in stone and Arnold believes there is a distinct possibility it could collapse altogether. When the institutional blockades are mob activity and involvement, forward progress is all but impossible. Does that mean PRIDE will go back under the ownership of DSE? Doubtful. It's far more likely the organization will simply dissolve.
Now, onto K-1:
The frenzy surrounding the shaky foundations of June 2's K-1 "Dynamite USA!!" event has been mounting the last two days. Our initial report that Fight Entertainment Group has yet to secure it's promotional license ruffled a few feathers, while today's realization that headliner Hong Man Choi was off the roster for his inability to get medically approved by the California State Athletic Commission seemed to add fuel to the fire. The CSAC has yet to confirm Choi's status, but at this point, I have been told that K-1, with the assistance of Pro Elite (also promoting a portion of the event), have begun to make the rounds for a replacement to face former WWE pro wrestler Brock Lesnar. With nine days remaining, this can not be an easy task, especially since Lesnar is 0-0 as a fighter and the CSAC will surely not let him face an opponent with a wealth of experience above his own.Still no word yet regarding Sakuraba's medical status. If K-1 can't find an opponent for Lesnar and Saku can't pass his medicals, they might as well not worry about the legal red tape associated with putting on a show in America. The LA Coliseum is destined to be largely empty anyway and losing the lynchpins of the event to bureaucratic pitfalls is a nail in the coffin for the debacle.