On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our long-time colleague and friend, the Japanese mixed martial arts and puroresu (Japanese pro wrestling) journalist Tadashi Tanaka. He currently works for the Japanese web site Miruhon.net.
Tadashi Tanaka is the journalist who broke the story in 2006 in the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai (Weekly Gendai) containing allegations that the Pride Fighting Championships, once the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world, was actually owned by the Yakuza, Japanese organized crime. Shortly after, and despite very high television ratings, Pride shows were dropped by Fuji TV, a major national broadcast network in Japan. Pride eventually went under, and its assets were later purchased by Zuffa, the parent company of UFC.
We spoke with Tadashi Tanaka Wednesday during his visit to New York at the Renzo Gracie Academy. We discussed the main reasons for the fall of Pride, why organizations like K-1 and Dream have also been in decline, the future of smaller Japanese MMA organizations, the prospects for the UFC in Japan, the growth of MMA elsewhere in Asia, and much more.
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ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.
DARE Championship. Based in Thailand, DARE is a mixed martial arts event where fighters from all over the world compete to become the DARE Champion. DARE is one of the first MMA promotions in Thailand, and has been televised in many countries and online. For more information, go to their web site, at DareFightSports.com.
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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.
The American Sambo Association, which is committed to becoming the premier association in the U.S. dedicated to the advancement of Sambo. Sambo is a form of sport, self-defense, and combat established in the former Soviet Union during the early twentieth century. For more information, go to ussambo.com.
Labels: Asia, Dream, Eddie Goldman, Japan, K-1, MMA, No Holds Barred, Pride FC, Tadashi Tanaka, Yakuza