…and not because he tried to kiss Heath Herring again. Rumor has it that the Yakuza has beef with Nakao facing Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at next week’s DREAM show. According a recent blog entry by Takumi “The Oriental Mystery” Yano (Nakao’s submission trainer, who took the #3 spot in our Sickest Submissions Ever list):
YAKUZA (japanese maffia)is terrible!!
I hear that If NAKAO fight Mirko, YAKUZA will kidnap nakao and abandon him in Tokyo Sea…..
So if the Fightin’ Smoocher mysteriously disappears after DREAM 1, you know where to find him.
The idea of the Yakuza trying to exert control over the new DREAM promotion is plausible to say the least — their alleged involvement in PRIDE is part of what sunk the defunct organization, and when ex-PRIDE staffers and K-1 execs came together to launch DREAM, criminal elements may have remained. (Read this for a surface-scratching recent history.) But who knows why they’d want to block Nakao from fighting Cro Cop. Could it have more to do with Mirko than Nakao?