(DREAM’s master plan of eventually having puppet-only fight cards didn’t go over as well as predicted with Japanese fans)
According to a report from Sherdog.com, DREAM has inexplicably scrapped its planned (but never officially announced) May 29 light heavyweight grand prix. The reason for the cancellation, which is the second major change to the event (organizers rescheduled the show from April 24 until they added more Korean fighters to the card to help them secure a TV deal in Korea) was loosely linked to comments made by event producer Keiichi Sasahara on Tuesday that because the event would be contested in the hexagonal cage introduced at DREAM 12, that was not used at DREAM 13, "the tournament would need to be reevaluated."
Seriously? Because some of the fighters assumed they would be fighting in a ring, you cancel the entire tournament? They have over a month to adjust to the change. The funny thing is, the fighters who will step in to fill in the card have the same amount of time to prepare for a fight as these guys would have had to make the subtle changes to their respective game plans to prepare for a larger and differently shaped fighting surface. They’re fighters, for Crom’s sake. Shouldn’t they be prepared to fight under any circumstance? I don’t buy this excuse.
No official announcement will be made by DREAM about the tournament cancellation until next week, but Sherdog confirmed the news with the manager of one of the planned participants in the GP which was rumored to have include Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Christian M’Pumbu, Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou and Gegard Mousasi.
This doesn’t surprise me since the Japanese are notorious for cancelling and signing fights with little or no notice. One big name fighter I’ve spoken to about this issue several times in the past few years, told me that on more than one occasion he has been told to get ready for a fight that didn’t happen. On one occasion, when he inquired as to why his contract didn’t arrive as promised, he was either ignored or told it was in the mail. When it didn’t arrive two weeks out from the event and he called the brass in Japan, they apologized and told him to be ready for the next show.
Another time, he was informed by a member of the MMA media who his next opponent would be and later found out that his opponent had known about the fight and had been training for over a month before he found out about it. I’m not sure if they’re just really badly organized or if the Yakuza or betting lines have anything to do with how things are run, but there’s definitely always been something shady going on in Japanese MMA.
As it stands now, the card only has four bouts signed, but should Nick Diaz be slapped with any sanctions for his part in the Strikeforce-CBS melee, they could be left without a main event as well.
May 29, 2010
Saitama Super Arena