Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.
In hopes of creating new talent in the mold of “The Ultimate Fighter”, World Victory Road’s Sengoku brand will be venturing into the Japanese reality television market for the first time.
With lackluster television ratings and the potential of getting knocked off network television, wouldn’t this be another idea that DREAM could consider to draw ratings besides attempting to bring Jose Canseco overseas for a suicide attempt?
Dubbed “Project Gold Rush,” Sengoku initially aims to cultivate up-and-coming fighters within three weight classes: 60, 65 and 70 kg (132, 143, 154 pounds). In the vein of Sengoku’s open tryouts and a natural extension of its fighter development program (of which Shigeki Osawa and Maximo Blanco are current products), the show is intended to foster the development of young fighters.
Featuring four to five handpicked fighters per weight class from various Japanese gyms, the young talents will fight each other over the course of four to five episodes. The finals in each weight class will be slotted as preliminary bouts on the Aug. 2 Sengoku Ninth Battle.
“We are trying to develop younger fighters, training them especially for Sengoku. Our primary plan … toward fostering these newcomers is called ‘Project: Gold Rush,’ and these bouts will be broadcast on our weekly ‘Sengoku Gold’ programs, every Sunday at 11:35 p.m.,” Kokuho said.
Because of their relationship with K-1, DREAM remains Japan’s top promotion in a relatively uninspiring MMA scene these days. However if there’s one thing Sengoku has the upper hand in, it has to be the ability for the organization to create its own stars, either through breeding young talent via Shooto and DEEP or bringing unknown talent from smaller U.S. promotions and making them stars.
Marlon Sandro, “King Mo”, and Satoru Kitaoka. Need I say more?