UFC in Japan

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wapttn
11/27/08 1:41:12PM
Hey guys, I'm writing a paper for my global context of business class and the topic I selected was

Analyzing the Entry of UFC into Japan.

I've read almost every news article posted at the playground since I've been a member so I've probably heard a lot of the same things other people have, but I'm looking for some opinions, insight, ideas... maybe potential strategies, etc.

Whatever thoughts you have would be awesome, thanks =)
cmill21
11/27/08 2:37:19PM
They will have to change the elbows and get more japanese stars. Losing the cage for any Japanese shows would also help them out alot. Over there Chuck Liddel means nothing, they need guys like Fedor, Sakuraba, ect. IMHO it would be very very tough for the UFC to make any kind of money over there.
Pride-Fighter
11/27/08 2:43:51PM
They have already been in Japan
cowcatcher
11/27/08 2:58:22PM
well its been years since theyve been there and to get back cmill is right they need japanese stars on the card. the ufc would do well to put the former pride guys like nog, page, and hendo on the card as well, i would guess that they still have drawing power there.
Hendo67
11/27/08 3:06:29PM
Yeah, you'd need guys like
Fedor
Nog
Henderson
Sakaraba
Yoshida
Wanderlei

wapttn
11/27/08 4:30:41PM
well i'm arguing that the ufc wont be able to change the rules for a new venue because then it delegitimizes the ufc as a brand of the sport. If they change the rules based on where the fighters are fighting then you're giving certain fighters unfair advantages and changing the game overall.

Same thing goes for the cage... and a lot of fighters have argued that mma has no place being in a ring, which I agree with.

I agree that bringing over fighters like liddel as your star power and main event material is just foolish... but I think that the ufc wouldnt have a problem saving up nakamura, yoshida, omigawa and gono for a japan card the way they save up the uk fighters for their uk cards. On top of that, they have a lot of star power in wanderlei, rampage, shogun, nog, and henderson. I think if they picked the card right... they could also successfully introduce a few other fan favourites like forrest, florian, franklin, etc. It would have to be a strategic card, but I think well within the realm of possibility

and I'm fully aware of ufc 15.5 haha, i'm still trying to figure out if the ufc ran into any entry barriers there.

PS, if the ufc was successful, they might have better luck roping in top fighters like gomi if they were guaranteed to be on the japanese cards.


EDIT: Purely hypoethical matchups I think they'd go nuts for

Forrest vs Henderson
Yoshida vs Gono
florian vs Gomi
Nog vs Gonzaga
Rampage vs Shogun

In all honesty... that'd probably be one of the best main cards of all time haha
Wolfenstein
11/27/08 4:48:28PM
I think MMA will always have a place in Japan.Money can be made there and they could put on a successful event. Prefferably a show driven by Heavyweights. A guy like Brock Lesnar could easilly become as big as Bobb Sapp was in the day, as huge specimans are typically popular fighters in Japan.

The issue with doing shows in Japan is that MMA in Japan has already peaked, and is in the beginning stages of decline. This is do to a number of factors such as the scandals of the Yakuza, and a declining and aging population.

It would be awesome to do a show in Japan, but at the same time one has to look at the prospect of making a venture into an area where interest is on the decline.
wapttn
11/27/08 5:42:27PM
I see the decline in popularity of mma over there as well... its obviously just speculation, but I dont think anyone over here gets the sense that things are as big as they were in the days of price.

My peronal opinion on that is that it has more to do with the promotion than the product. I dont see the sport of mma being a fad because the athletes are amongst the best in the world, theres an amazing amount of skill and technique involved, its exciting to watch, its the ultimate combat sport, and it teaches great values. I think the popularity has declined in Japan because all they have to watch is WVR and Dream.. they've been able to put on a couple decent events, but nothing that for me has been outstanding. I think if all we had over here was dream and wvr we'd lose interest too.

In this logic, i'm seeing some similarities to where hockey was 5 years ago. Attendence and ratings were down, and it was because the sport wasnt promoted properly. There was nothing wrong with the sport, but they expected the sport to carry itself which isnt always the case... same thing with mma. I dont think the sport can carry itself just because the hype around it is some of the fun. If the ufc could promote it properly over there, I'm thinkin everyone would be back on the gravy train
grappler0000
11/27/08 7:58:22PM

Posted by Wolfenstein

I think MMA will always have a place in Japan.Money can be made there and they could put on a successful event. Prefferably a show driven by Heavyweights. A guy like Brock Lesnar could easilly become as big as Bobb Sapp was in the day, as huge specimans are typically popular fighters in Japan...




Even more so if you consider that Lesnar has already done Pro Wrestling in Japan.
bls1919
11/27/08 9:49:03PM
I don't think that getting fighters that would be a big draw is the problem. The japanese see the cage as a very barbaric aspect of the sport and are opposed to it. And the elbow thing to me is ridiculous. I would let Kenny Florian elbow me in the face 20 times before i would take 1 head stomp from Wandy. the rule realy confuses me
cmill21
11/27/08 10:31:30PM

Posted by bls1919

I don't think that getting fighters that would be a big draw is the problem. The japanese see the cage as a very barbaric aspect of the sport and are opposed to it. And the elbow thing to me is ridiculous. I would let Kenny Florian elbow me in the face 20 times before i would take 1 head stomp from Wandy. the rule realy confuses me



Really? It's alot easier to avoid getting stomped then it is to avoid taking elbows IMO. Theres also the added bonus that if you like strikers(Japan loves it) then it gives them that added weapon if someone tries to take them down.
miphi1991
11/27/08 10:49:11PM
IMO Japan needs to follow suit and stop trying to hold MMA back. UFC is fast becoming the global MMA superpower so if Japan wants MMA they should start accepting the stars of the future.
jocka
11/28/08 9:15:57AM

Posted by bls1919

I don't think that getting fighters that would be a big draw is the problem. The japanese see the cage as a very barbaric aspect of the sport and are opposed to it. And the elbow thing to me is ridiculous. I would let Kenny Florian elbow me in the face 20 times before i would take 1 head stomp from Wandy. the rule realy confuses me



I guess you never got elbowed in the face, i would take the foot stomp before the elbows. The foot stomp needs a lot of space to generate power compared to elbows and its a lot easyer to avoid but with elbows you dont even need a foot of space to do it. You should come spare with me i ll give you one elbos from the top and you tell me if you would take 19 more lol
warglory
11/28/08 12:25:23PM
Quite simply, the UFC should change nothing. The UFC is the same entity overseas as demonstrated in Ireland and England as it is in the states, the only difference being a focus on national talent. The UFC has a brand and people don't want the UFC to have a ring, they want to see the cage and all of it's talents if they go to a UFC show. There's no sense in adapting your brand when you should be adapting viewers to YOUR brand. The UFC are not head of the pack for no reason, they no their fanbase very well, and I'm sure they are confident in the Japanese people accepting what the UFC delivers if the company is willing to travel over there for shows.
higdon10
11/28/08 12:28:17PM

Posted by warglory

Quite simply, the UFC should change nothing.



prozacnation1978
11/28/08 8:35:55PM
they would be welcomed if you load the card up with ex pride guys
u need silva, rampage, big nog, hendo to fight shogun
add some japs like okami or korean like kim to it
they might welcome the ufc or not
StriderXero
11/28/08 9:43:51PM
what they need to do if they want to make money in Japan is quite simple.............BRING BACK PRIDE!!

Zuffa owns the PRIDE name. IMO they should make a show called "THE RETURN OF PRIDE"

I would deffinatley pay to see Pride back.
cmill21
11/28/08 11:16:13PM

Posted by StriderXero

what they need to do if they want to make money in Japan is quite simple.............BRING BACK PRIDE!!

Zuffa owns the PRIDE name. IMO they should make a show called "THE RETURN OF PRIDE"

I would deffinatley pay to see Pride back.



That would be smart. They could operate the two and then have "superfights". Thats what I would do if I controlled both. People don't understand that in japan the UFC holds no name value, people don't consider the UFC anything more then what casula fans consider Dream here in North America.
ncordless
11/29/08 3:29:54AM
The UFC should not change rules to go to Japan. There is a movement towards the unified rules in Japan, and it would look pretty bad to change them like that.

I think the UFC could do ok over there if they mixed in the old PRIDE guys with some of the more charismatic fighters not yet known in Japan.

And if they want to stay around in Japan they would need to market it differently and allow for entrances on a ramp. Sounds silly, but it would seriously help there.
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