Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

Subscribe to No Holds Barred
Browse Archives at groups.google.com

Web No Holds Barred

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No Holds Barred: Tadashi Tanaka on Rizin Fighting Federation 

(Photo courtesy of Tadashi Tanaka/Miruhon.net.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our long-time colleague and friend, the Japanese mixed martial arts and puroresu (Japanese pro wrestling) journalist Tadashi Tanaka of Miruhon.net.

He covered the inaugural press conference held October 8 introducing the newest Japanese MMA promotion, Rizin Fighting Federation.

We spoke with Tadashi Tanaka by Skype Monday.

The head of Rizin is someone well-known in the combat sports world: Nobuyuki Sakakibara. Sakakibara had formerly headed the Pride Fighting Championships, which from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s had been the largest and most important MMA promotion in the world. But after a scandal linking the organization to the Yakuza, the Japanese mob, Pride telecasts were dropped by the influential Fuji TV, the promotion soon folded, and Sakakibara left the combat sports world.

Now Rizin seeks to take the place of Pride, and is adopting many of the methods which made Pride so popular, including Pride rules, using a ring instead of a cage, and signing an international group of star fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, and Gabi Garcia, who will make her MMA debut. In addition, Rizin is actually trying to create a federation, and will be working directly with other major promotions including Bellator in the U.S., Jungle Fight in Brazil, BAMMA in the U.K., KSW in Poland, Road FC in Korea, and Bushido in Lithuania.

Rizin's first show, the Rizin Fighting World Grand-Prix 2015, will actually be a three-day extravaganza scheduled for the week of New Year's Eve. Sakuraba will fight Aoki on December 29, there will be a fan expo December 30, and the main card featuring Fedor against an opponent to be announced will be December 31.

Already Spike TV in the U.S. had announced that it will televise fights from this card, likely on tape-delay because of the time difference between the U.S. and Japan. But major news has also come out in Japan, as once again Fuji TV will be televising fights from this card as well.

"The most important thing is, Fuji TV backs this new promotion. That's the biggest news," said Tadashi Tanaka. In Japan, Fuji TV is one of only five major networks which broadcast free, terrestrial TV, with everything else being "tiny," he said.

Fuji TV's involvement is of particular note because it was articles by Tadashi Tanaka and others in the Japanese publication Shukan Gendai that publicly exposed the Pride-Yakuza connections and eventually led to Fuji TV dropping Pride.

The question arises as to the nature of the backers of this new promotion. And Tadashi Tanaka believes that this new organization "is very clean."

He explained that in Japan, "The Yakuza is essentially dead." The government has had a major crackdown on it, and the gangs themselves are splintering. Thus, Fuji TV and various sponsors feel safe in backing this new venture, he said.

Even so, that is no guarantee that it will all work and fans will buy tickets to live events and watch it on TV. "We don't know the success," he said, and will have to wait and see how Rizin does.

We also discussed this new federation, which he characterized as in essence an "anti-UFC alliance." Fans in Japan and many other parts of the world prefer MMA in a ring rather than a cage, he said, and also are not that concerned about who will be Fedor's opponent because they mainly want to see him fight again.

Expect more announcements soon about the involvement with Rizin of others, including K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii, he said.

We also discussed the "totally bogus" rumors that Rizin is backed by "oil money", possible opponents for Fedor including Masakatsu Funaki, the New Year's Eve tradition in Japan of televising major combat sports events, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Links to this post:

Comments: Post a Comment


Post a Comment

0 comments Tweet

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The PodOmatic Podcast Player is available for free at:

  • Google Play
  • App Store
  • No Holds Barred Sponsors

  • Catch Wrestling Alliance
  • Skullz Double-End Bags
  • Links
  • Eddie Goldman Presented Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award -- The Conscience of Combat Sports
  • "The Martist" with John Perretti
  • Catch Wrestling Alliance
  • National Writers Union
  • MMA World Expo
  • Play the Game
  • Kristal Hart Show
  • E-Mail Icon Generator
  • Archives
    Subscribe to the NO HOLDS BARRED Blog Here

  • Google
    Web No Holds Barred

    Google Groups Subscribe to No Holds Barred
    Browse Archives at groups.google.com
    © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Eddie Goldman all rights reserved.