(If only either of these guys brought this much energy to their actual jobs. PicProps: MMA.pl)
The ongoing war of words between recently-retired MMA punchline Bob Sapp and FEG President (and self-proclaimed soon-to-be failed businessman) Sadaharu Tanikawa has frankly gotten too awesome to ignore any longer. Believe us, if we possibly could ignore it, we totally, totally would, but these guys are just saying too much hilarious stuff about each other not to at least get a mention. Seriously, it’s like watching the two nerdiest kids in the fourth grade slap fight in a sand box. Except, you know, with words.
You may remember that Sapp pulled out of a scheduled “modified rules” fight with Shinichi Suzukawa at K-1’s gala New Year’s Eve show last month, claiming that FEG first promised him 30 Gs for it, only to tell him he was only getting half that once he’d already made the trip to Japan. The promotion responded by saying Sapp “had lost his fighting spirit” during its broadcast and the giant former football player later indicated he was finished with MMA, but alleged it had nothing to do with his spirit. “The No. 1 problem is that K-1 is extremely broke. So is Dream …,” Sapp said. “I’m just like, ‘You know what? I’m done with all the talk about me. I’m done with them stiffing the fighters. I’m just done with it. I’ve seen too much. Start paying people to show up.’ ” Tanikawa didn’t take kindly to that, and he’s been ripping Sapp on Twitter and in interviews ever since.
Granted, a few of his burns lost some of their sting after being translated from Japanese into the King’s English by the Brits at Fighters Only earlier this week. Like for instance when he said Sapp "should not be considered as a normal person” and dubbed him “the worst, most lamentable dust man." Yeah … not sure … but we think that’s kind of like calling a guy an incompetent janitor. Or a deplorable garbage man. Or something. Whatever it means, it’s a pretty quizzical thing to say about someone you despise, though it is kind of a sadly appropriate way to describe Bob Sapp’s professional life.
A day later, Tanikawa kept at it, tweeting via FEG’s English writer Stuart Tonkin: "No one cares anymore, but the Sapp incident had NOTHING to do with the fight money … That guy is such a loser. He is one lonely man."
Naturally, one of Tanikawa’s followers helpfully suggested that he and Sapp should settle their differences in a fight (you know, like you do) and the executive replied: "I wouldn’t lose to that hairless prick." The weirdest part is that Tanikawa himself seemed to confirm that FEG was in dire financial straits last week, when he told a Japanese MMA blog that he thought his company wouldn’t survive without a serious injection of capital.
"The current course is that FEG will die," Tanikawa said. "There are probably staff members that will leave as well. The event name will be left but the promotion will change. If the current structure remains as it is it will be impossible to continue. If many investments from companies overseas do not come in we can’t survive."
So, who knows what to believe.
As an aside, if the name of sumo wrestler Shinichi Suzukawa sounded vaguely familiar to you, it’s because he’s the dude who reportedly screwed over Mark Coleman in that Japanese pro wrestling match a couple weeks back and is also the guy who is now rumored to be about to rassle with Kimbo Slice. So, it seems that if there is something stupid happening in Japan, there’s a good chance this Suzukawa dude is neck deep in it.