Thursday, October 12, 2017

PANCRASE deal with Invicta likely to lead nowhere

PANCRASE owner Sakai
A couple of months ago, PANCRASE released a Youtube video heralding a big announcement about women's MMA in PANCRASE. On Sunday's show, PANCRASE owner Masakazu Sakai announced a talent exchange agreement with Invicta. Though that may sound good, I don't expect it to amount to much if anything. And an interview Sakai did yesterday with EFight indicates that he did what plenty of Japanese promoters have done in the past. They make big announcements with no idea of how it should be executed and yield results. And it's not the first time Sakai has made big announcements with no follow up. Remember when Smash was supposed to be a pro wrestling and MMA company? He even hired Akira "Mr. Pride" Shoji to run the MMA company and the Smash dojo. But when the MMA part of Smash never opened, he closed Smash after Tajiri refused to have MMA on his pro wrestling shows. After Sakai brought PANCRASE, he announced working agreements with King of the Cage and American Kickboxing Academy. Nothing came from those. Remember when PANCRASE was supposed to do shows with WSOF? Nothing came of that and eventually the WSOF opened an office in Tokyo and did a few shows of their own. PANCRASE wasn't involved. The only deal that happened was when Canadian reality TV show Fight Xchange arranged for four fighters to train in Japan and fight in PANCRASE. But most of the credit for that should go to Fight Xchange creator Aaron Avruskin with a SuperChannel broadcast deal in hand. So that's why I am very skeptical of Sakai's announcement. He brought out two fighters at Sunday's show. One was veteran Takayo Hashi who probably isn't an in demand fighter outside Japan. The other is Toyoko who hasn't fought yet but was a 2002 high school judo champ. So she's old and she hasn't fought yet. Sakai claims this deal with Invicta is supposed to help Japanese female fighters. But he doesn't seem to know how to do that. What he's done before is promote individual fighters to sell to the UFC. And he brought over gaijin fighters to lose to them. He doesn't need Invicta to bring in gaijin fighters. Sakai suggested getting experienced fighters from other organizations. But all the good fighters are under contract elsewhere. What remains is very low talent level. He even suggested recruiting kickboxers to MMA. That's probably not adequate. RIZIN has Olympic Gold Medal wrestler Saori Yoshida scout amateur and college ranks for new talent. Yoshida found Hanako Murata wrestling in college. Sakai could do the same thing. But he might not want to spend the money. Talent development ain't cheap. My conclusion is this was a big announcement that is not supposed to lead anywhere because recruiting talent is not easy, simple or cheap. And Sakai has no idea how to recruit fresh talent.

No comments:

Post a Comment