While I was at Bellator MMA headquarters earlier this month to interview Scott Coker, I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak to a visiting Simon Kelly Inoki of the Inoki Genome Federation. For those unfamiliar with the IGF, it is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion founded by the legendary Antoni Inoki (who also happens to be Simon's father-in-law). Tomorrow (tonight in Japan), it will be hosting a special event in honor of Antonio's 72nd birthday, IGF 32. Amongst those scheduled to take part are Phil Baroni, Kazuyuki Fujita, Shinya Aoki, Shinichi Suzukawa, Justin McCully, Ikuhisa Minowa and Naoya Ogawa.
For those thinking that pro wrestling has no place in a karate magazine like Bloody Elbow, you must not be aware of the fact that IGF holds MMA fights alongside worked matches at their events nor are you aware of the very strong historical link that exists between poresu and mixed martial arts in Japan. You also must not be very fun at parties.
Amongst the subjects Mr. Inoki shares with us from Coker's couch are his thoughts on
- What it will take for an MMA revival in Japan?
- The state of MMA training in Japan,
- Shoot matches
- His interest in bringing Brock Lesnar to Japan.
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