(“Hi. My name’s Pee-Wee. I’m here for the orgy.”)
It looks like the UFC scooped up its second Sengoku Raiden Championship fighter in a week.
As we reported last week, the promotion’s middleweight champion Jorge Santiago walked away from the promotion in the hopes of signing with either the UFC or Strikeforce. Although the Amercian Top Team fighter says he has not inked a deal with either promotion, several sources have confirmed that he has signed with the UFC and will face Brian Stann in his first outing at UFC 130 May 28 in Las Vegas.
Now reports have surfaced that Dave Herman has also received a requested release by the struggling Japanese organization. Although his manager, Shu Hirata confirmed today to MMAFighting that his client had parted ways with the promotion, he fell short of substantiating a handful of anonymously sourced reports that “Pee-Wee” has signed with the UFC.
According to several online outlets, the 26-year-old 20-2 Fort Wayne Indiana-born heavyweight, who settled a contract dispute with Bellator in 2010, will take on Rob Boughton at UFC 131 June 11 in Vancouver, BC.
Herman and Santiago’s releases aren’t the biggest story, here however.
According to Hirata, the Sengoku, like other JMMA organizations, might be in trouble.
The promotion apparently pulled the plug on a planned April event after a few negative articles emerged about the show.
“That article in Kamipro magazine came out, then the another article in Gong that triggered SRC to cancel their April show, so the timing was actually perfect for Dave to be released and move on with the another promotion. None of these rumors were pointing towards the bright future of the Japanese MMA.” Hirata told MMAFighting’s Daniel Herbertson. “On top of this, its not like the SRC has the well-established heavyweight division (with Japanese stars) therefore, we have decided to communicate with the WVR / SRC about releasing Dave so he can sign the lucrative deals in the North America.”
Seriously? Someone writes a critical assessment of your upcoming show and you cancel it? Either the promoter is just grasping at straws or he needs to grow some thicker skin. I never thought I’d say this, but he could stand to learn a thing or two from Scott Coker in this area.