DREAM vs. Sengoku Poll

Tuesday 17 June 2008

The poll between Sengoku and DREAM ended in a convincing victory.

DREAM won a KO victory with 112 vs. 12.

I am surprised that the result was that clear, even though I suspected that DREAM would win. Why am I so surprised?

Couple of reasons:

-The talent Sengoku signed, Olympic class wrestlers and judo practitioners would have been very good signings a few years back. Looks like MMA might have changed and fans realize that you need to do more than just to specialize to be successful.

-Sengoku seems to sign more heavy and light-heavy weights, something I thought would lead to some people throw a vote their way.

-The lightweight tournament Sengoku announced looks interesting, my objection would be that Gomi is not in it... I think he should have, instead he is treated like royalty and I guess in some ways he is. But Yokota, Kitaoka and Mitsuoka are very good Japanese fighters, adding Damm and Ludwig and it gets interesting. Sengoku might not have signed the big Japanese stars (as one comment said), but who are the big Japanese stars? And why are they the stars?

I do actually think the Sengoku is attracting a decent amount of Japanese talents and stars, my point is this: The Japanese stars were created in Pride, with Pride going out of business, that stopped the factory. Sengoku is looking to start a new factory and they have signed some potential Japanese stars (in my opinion). DREAM obviously has an advantage in the relationships they have built with some fighters through DSE.

DREAM has the advantage, without a doubt. They had a bigger pool of fighters to start, they have a TV deal, they have the Japanese stars.They DON'T have a solid Heavyweight line-up... Not only are they missing Heavyweights, but the 2 that fought this weekend (Ralek Gracie and Alistair Overeem) both called out the injured star CroCop. Although Overeem made it clear that he REALLY wants to fight the injured star.

My question is: where is Kharitonov? I guess we'll know soon enough.

So there you have it, the results of my little poll and my thoughts on the subject.


Anonymous,  17 June 2008 at 22:34  

Since I suspect part of your post was in response to my late comment at the end of a previous thread on this topic, let me give you my response.

-Not having a television deal is a huge deal. Not only do you miss out on corporate sponsorship and station support, but you lack a legitimate outlet to showcase your product. What good is a strong performance from someone like Kitaoka if only the limited number of people in attendance see it?

-Maybe Sengoku could generate some excitement and buzz for their shows if they could get some media attention in print, but even there, Japanese magazines and papers are giving Dream and its fighters more laudatory and widespread coverage. Just look at the last 7 back issues of Kamipro. Aoki's been on the cover of 3 of them, Mirko's been on the cover of 2, while Akiyama and Gomi have each been on the cover of 1. I suspect the next issue of Gonkaku and Kamipro will mirror this trend and cover Dream.4 much more exhaustively than Sengoku 3. For a company with no television deal, this matters.

-I don't disagree that guys like Kitaoka, Yokota, and Mitsuoka are good fighters. They are talented. But, they are not yet established and you can't expect them to draw money for you. The primary way one becomes established in Japan is by beating an established fighter and looking good doing it (like Eddie Alvarez has). None of these guys is a credible threat right now to Gomi, and there isn't anyone else established in their division for them to beat. Gomi needs established, credible fighters to not only challenge him, but to get the fans interested. Dream has at least 6 money fights for him right now (Kawajiri and Hansen rematches, plus Uno, Aoki, JZ, Alvarez).

-Dream's production almost perfectly replicates Pride. FEG did a very smart thing bringing in Daisuke Sato (Pride producer) and his team, plus all the DSE talent and officials like Shimada, Kei Grant, Lenne Hardt, and even judges like Matt Hume and Miyake Yasushi. It may be a small thing, but fans associated these faces and voices with the Pride brand, which is why fans have naturally rallied to Dream over Sengoku.

-Because of their roster and television deal, Dream can afford to take their show on the road and cultivate a national and international fanbase. Dream.5 is in Osaka, which is a tough market to crack. But they are doing it and will probably get a good crowd at Osaka Jo Hall. That show is all about television ratings of course, but I suspect Sengoku wouldn't book that venue for one of their shows.
Perhaps more importantly though, Dream has the roster to go to South Korea and have several successful shows built around Akiyama, Yoon, Kang, and even Choi Hong Man if he is healthy. If Misaki left for Dream, an Akiyama superfight would be one of the bigger money fights anywhere.

-As for the heavyweight divisions, they both are a bit lacking, but Dream still has the valuable K-1 connection so they can bring in LeBanner, Schilt, Hunt, and Choi to add onto Kharitonov, CroCop, Overeem, Ralek Gracie, plus the prospect of Fedor and Aleksander as well.

-If Sengoku really wanted to make a splash with some Olympians, they'd do their best to tempt a Japanese Judoka or two to enter. Yoshida and J-Rock's contacts should help.. Really the big prize would be if they could convince Kosei Inoue, now that he's retired from Judo, to fight. Now that would be the kind of star that could draw some huge attention and maybe even help with a television deal. I haven't heard anything from him about fighting though, and he'd have a ridiculous price tag. He'd be worth it though.

Borre 18 June 2008 at 15:31  

Thank you for your insightful comment! Yes, your previous comment got me thinking, but my main purpose with the poll was to create some publicity around Sengoku. You are right, they do need a TV deal desperatly...

Let's hope they get one soon.

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