The state of mixed martial arts in Japan has been questioned amongst keyboard warriors for several years since the fall of the revolutionary Pride FC organization.
Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) are the leading provider of combat sports in the land of the rising sun—they are the parent company behind the largest kick boxing organization in the world, K-1, as well as DREAM.
It has been apparent for quite some time that financial difficulties have been a big problem for FEG.
Gary Goodridge, Andy Souwer, and current DREAM Bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes are just a few who have stepped up to the plate and told the fight media that they have not been paid for their past performances.
The signs continued to add up when FEG cancelled their DREAM 17 event that was scheduled to take place on October 25 in South Korea—also no dates have been announced for the K-1 MAX events rumoured for 2010.
At this point and time FEG only has two upcoming events—DREAM 16 on September 25 and their annual Dynamite event schedule for New Year's Eve.
Mike Kogan, the United States representative for FEG, conducted an interview with MMAJunkie.
After months of denial on the part of FEG management, Kogan is the first to step up and admit that the organization is in a large hole of financial problems and the future of the company rests on a deal with PUJI Capital.
Is MMA in Japan dead?
According to Kogan, PUJI Capital are attempting to provide $230 million for the fight organization, which would allow them to pay back the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to fighters and have them back in business for 2011.
For the investors to accumulate the cash total suggested it could take quite some time, and if the deal falls through, well I can let you figure out the outcome there.
As a fan of DREAM since its inception I would be incredibly disappointed to see it disappear, especially with organizations like World Victory Road who bring us Sengoku rumoured to be in a financial bind as well.
It seems the state of the sport in Japan is at its worst.
DREAM will close the year with only two titles remaining and pray that PUJI Capital are able to summon the large amount of money to pull them out of their current hole, but for now I suggest not holding your breath.