Zach Arnold

Saitama NYE Event Press Conference Notes

A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.

Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.

Zach Arnold at Fight Opinion has an awesome recap of everything as always. So awesome in fact, that M-1’s Russian site has decided to re-write it and post it.

The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.

Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.

There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.

Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:

“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”

I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.

M-1 The New PRIDE? I’m Not Sure

When news broke yesterday that Fedor has signed with M-1 and M-1 was recently purchase by an unknown American company, thoughts of Ed Fishman and this new PRIDE that everyone was talking about flashing through my head.

Now I’m not sure that’s the case.

Many rumors have been swirling around today varying from Nobuyuki Sakakibara to Shane McMahon being part of the group that purchased M-1. Who the hell knows at this point.

However the infamous Zach Arnold has revealed details on a new Japanese promotion forming as we speak:

A press release was sent out to members of the Japanese media today (not on a public scale, but specifically addressed to members of the Japanese press) for a new company called World Victory Road Inc. in Japan. The press release states that there will be a press conference on the 2nd floor of Tokyo’s Prince Hotel on the 15th (this Monday at 3 PM JST). The press release states that representatives from Don Quijote (one of PRIDE’s former sponsors and current sponsor of Kazuhiro Nakamura) and FILA are expected to be in attendance. The most interesting name listed as a guest for the press conference is Chairman Fukuda of the Japanese wrestling association. He was a figurehead that PRIDE tried to recruit before that organizaton hit troubled times. Also on the guest list is Mr. Kinoshita of the Kinoshita Group, a construction company.

Interestingly enough, the cell phone number at the bottom of the private press release belongs to an employee of J-ROCK, the management group of Hidehiko Yoshida. One media source claims that a top figurehead for the new organization is former UFC-Japan promoter, Akira Sakata.

Big news for Japanese fans right there.

As far as M-1 goes, Sherdog has some more information on the promotion and an official announcement:

Sherdog.com has learned the new organization will run under the M-1 Global moniker and plans to promote shows in Russia, Japan and the United States with the first event possibly coming to fruition as soon as New Year’s Eve.

A news conference has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 23 in New York City to announce the signing as well as to introduce the new promotion to the media.

CKA: Oct 10, 2007

News and Notes

- Palace Fighting Championship will be in talks with both Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott this morning in an attempt to try and bring the bout between the two to PFC’s show on October 18th:

“I have spoken to both sides’ management,” said PFC’s Christian Printup. “I am submitting a formal offer (Wednesday) morning. If it satisfies their financial needs the fight will happen on Oct. 18 in the PFC. If it doesn’t, I can take comfort in knowing we made a very substantial offer nonetheless.”

- Speaking of Kimbo Slice, he is set to be profiled on ESPN’s newest venture, E:60:

The new sports news show from ESPN, E:60, will be taking a closer look into some of sports’ larger stories, much like 60 Minutes or Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The surprising thing? Kimbo Slice will be profiled by Rachel Nichols in one of the segments, according to the October 8th edition of USA Today.

- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Rory Singer vs Josh Haynes from UFC: The Final Chapter as well as Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva from UFC 64.

- MMA Opinon discusses why Dave Meltzer’s move to Yahoo! Sports is going to revolutionize MMA media and slams others:

Meltzer’s ascension is not only deserved, but it could shape the way we read and digest thoughts and ideas on MMA. Coverage effects how we all view our MMA. The Sam Caplans’ and Todd Martins’ of the world are excelling because they understand the synergy and goals of business and entertainment as much as true sport. They are equally necessary. And somewhere in between Josh Gross and noted Negative Nancy Zach Arnold (great for community of MMA journalism, but often a malcontent when the sky isn’t falling) there is Dave Meltzer. Well, in between it all is Fight Linker, but that’s commentary.

Meltzer has waited a lifetime for compliments like the one given to him by famous sports writer Frank Deford this past summer. Often the object of disrespect, Meltzer (who writes a giant newsletter or two by himself, did radio shows, and covered ten times what anyone felt was required), was called the best sports journalist in the world by Deford. Here’s hoping he gets to make his mark at Yahoo Sports (he’ll dwarf Kevin Iole in months) and gets to retire from his newsletter. Dave deserves to watch his child grow up and not worry about losing another friend in pro wrestling.

Zach Arnold defends his work:

Who predicted the collapse of PRIDE before it was ever conventional wisdom in any media circles? I took two years of abuse for that one. The track record is good.

- UFC Daily is reporting that Frank Mir will definitely not be facing Fabricio Werdum at UFC 79 because he won’t be fighting until February or March of next year anyway.

- Fightlinker tells Dana White to not expect any favors from Tito Ortiz.

- Royce Gracie is teaching the Palm Beach, FL police department BJJ.

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