(I have to admit, I was skeptical when FEG announced their business plan using a map with a spaceship on it that would shuttle fighters to events around the world.)
Ever since news of DREAM stiffing a number of fighters of their contracted fight purses including Gary Goodridge, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and featherweight champ Bibiano Fernandes, rumors have been running rampant about how dire of financial difficulty the Japanese promotion is in.
Nightmare of Battle does a great job in summing up exactly what the issues have been for FEG that have led to the company being barely able to keep its head above water.
According to the website, the need for outside investment by PUJI Capital was necessitated by a number of factors related to K-1 and DREAM including:
• Back taxes the company has been paying since former K-1 head, Ishii, was jailed for tax evasion.
• The PRIDE Yakuza/Fuji TV scandal and the Akiyama greasing event lost them sponsors.
• An increase in fight purse amounts.
• A decrease in money earned from its television deals in 2009 which is said to be 30-50% less than FEG earned in 2008.
The story goes on to quote Japanese MMA magazine Kamipro’s editor-in-chief Saito who says the non-payment issues have been going on since DREAM’s inaugural event in 2008 and that the problem hasn’t only affected non-Japanese fighters.
According to Saito, FEG stayed afloat in recent years thanks to the money it received from its TV broadcasts of Dynamite!! events, which could explain why DREAM decided to pull the plug on a March show in Korea after a TV deal fell through at the last minute.
Apparently the PUJI Capital investment deal they were touting as being their secret weapon to defeat the UFC in a global MMA war has taken longer than expected to finalize and if the money that was promised to them by the financial backer doesn’t come soon, the organization will be forced to cancel its planned K-1 MAX Koshien and DREAM 16 events.
Saito says if the PUJI deal falls through, the ramifications will be much worse than cancelled shows, it could mean "the end" of FEG.