On the eve of what appears to be Mirko Cro Cop showing up in Tokyo for the K-1/DSE joint press-conference in Japan to announce their new promotion, I thought that I would take a brief respite here and put on my historian cap to talk about a certain individual.
To understand the various scandals and seismic behind-the-scenes events that have taken place in the Japanese MMA industry this decade, it is important to focus on an individual who somehow manages to skate under the radar time-in and time-out. This person deserves major scrutiny for his actions in the MMA business.
It’s time to play connect-the-dots with Ken Imai.
Ken Imai worked closely with Kazuyoshi Ishii in the golden era of K-1. Imai was very much involved in both business affairs (contracts) and with foreign organization of events. In many ways, Imai was a critical force in Ishii’s inner circle. When the K-1 corporate tax scandal hit full steam in late 2002, Imai managed to avoid any heat for the prickly situation in regards to phony contracts (including a bizarre fake Mike Tyson contract made by a Bangladesh man for Ishii) and destruction of evidence related to the tax evasion charges. Article continued here