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Akiyama signing has major implications

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MMAcca

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s signing of Yoshihiro Akiyama represents a significant business first – the first time a true native top-level drawing card from Japan has signed with a foreign mixed martial arts organization.

There have been plenty of Japanese fighters in UFC over the years, including Caol Uno, a legitimate lightweight contender in the early days of the division (who is set to return to UFC in June); Yushin Okami, a top middleweight contender; and even Kazuhiko Nakamura came in after the PRIDE purchase in 2007.





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Post #1   2/28/09 11:31:00AM   

chitownsfinest15

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ok now lets get overeem and kid over here....

Post #2   2/28/09 12:24:35PM   

prozacnation1978

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i agree akiyama is a big time japan fighter and with uno their might be others coming to the ufc

Post #3   2/28/09 1:36:10PM   

lohmann

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His Korean ancestry was considered a plus for an ethnic appeal to that community in Japan. And he was already known as an athlete, from judo, a popular sport in the country. He won the Asian championship in 2002 for Japan, and placed fourth in the 2003 world championships.


I think this may be what the UFC capitalizes on before they try to head into the swamp that is Japan. FEG has a stranglehold on MMA in Japan whereas South Korea doesn't quite have that innate competition. The UFC had a real opportunity to try to make some headway into Japan when they purchased PRIDE, but they never even put much thought into it.

I think the UFC is banking on some success from Kang, Kim, and now Akiyama to make that move a lot easier.

Post #4   2/28/09 2:06:36PM   

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Posted by lohmann


His Korean ancestry was considered a plus for an ethnic appeal to that community in Japan. And he was already known as an athlete, from judo, a popular sport in the country. He won the Asian championship in 2002 for Japan, and placed fourth in the 2003 world championships.


I think this may be what the UFC capitalizes on before they try to head into the swamp that is Japan. FEG has a stranglehold on MMA in Japan whereas South Korea doesn't quite have that innate competition. The UFC had a real opportunity to try to make some headway into Japan when they purchased PRIDE, but they never even put much thought into it.

I think the UFC is banking on some success from Kang, Kim, and now Akiyama to make that move a lot easier.



Korea is definately the market the UFC has it's eye on with the signing of Akiyama.

Post #5   2/28/09 3:31:02PM   

cmill21

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Does the UFC have a cable tv deal in place in Japan? If they don't they'll never get on tv without FEG's co operation, from what I hear FEG's big boss controls alot of that.

Post #6   2/28/09 5:32:17PM   

gartface

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Posted by cmill21

Does the UFC have a cable tv deal in place in Japan? If they don't they'll never get on tv without FEG's co operation, from what I hear FEG's big boss controls alot of that.


I thought I read something about them getting on Wowow maybe?

Post #7   2/28/09 6:20:01PM   

lohmann

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Posted by gartface


Posted by cmill21

Does the UFC have a cable tv deal in place in Japan? If they don't they'll never get on tv without FEG's co operation, from what I hear FEG's big boss controls alot of that.


I thought I read something about them getting on Wowow maybe?



They are on WOWOW, but to the best of my knowledge cable isn't going to be enough in Japan.


WOWOW was the first private satellite broadcasting and pay TV station in Japan. It began analog broadcasting on April 1, 1991. Digital broadcasting began on December 1, 2000. The network began with 207,753 subscribers (31.5 billion yen in sales), growing to 2,667,414 two years later (64.5 billion yen in sales).


That's a small audience to draw from.

UFC back on WOWOW


While it’s not a 100% accurate analogy, the best comparison to describe UFC being on WOWOW is K-1 having DREAM shows air on HDNet Fights. If anything, the only real benefit UFC is getting by airing on WOWOW involves rights fees. Nothing more, nothing less, would be our best guess.

Last edited 2/28/09 7:34PM server time by lohmann
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #8   2/28/09 7:31:17PM