HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

MMA Consortium Plan to Make Waves in UFC Monopoly

Calls on MMA Legends to Lead Way

On June 2, 2007 the MMA cartel of K1, Bodog, EliteXC, Cage Rage and Spirit MC will hold a colossal fight card in California at the storied Los Angeles Coliseum.

This event will mark the first time K1 Dynamite, the mixed martial arts wing of FEG’s K1 promotion, has attempted to make inroads into the UFC dominated North American market. K1 Dynamite has built a massive fan base in Asia with their extravagant production values and a roster filled with names like Sakuraba, Yamamoto, Gracie and Hong Man-Choi. FEG hopes that their efforts within Asia will translate into a favorable reception by “hardcore” and casual MMA fans alike when they break ground in the United States.

Although FEG has built the K1 brand into a juggernaut promotion in Oceania, Asia and many other countries many industry observers feel the K1 Dynamite secret to success will not transfer over to North America. Anyone who has witnessed a K1 Dynamite event can attest that the organization uses a “bizarre mix” of freak matches, challenge matches and Broadway showmanship to fill out each fight card. Many North American MMA fans have a hard time accepting this “bizarre mix” as it makes the sport resemble professional wrestling, something which the sport has been trying to distance itself from since its North American inception. FEG hopes that the entertainment value they offer will bring a record number of fans to this event despite what most people see as a lack of marketing on the side of FEG.

When it comes to marketing FEG has taken a “build it and they will come” approach to their first show on U.S. soil. Clearly FEG hopes that the big name athletes they have brought to the table will transfer into big attendance numbers and pay per view buys. Not until recently has this co-op of MMA promotional organizations begun to heavily promote this event, but with just over two weeks to the event it may be a case of too little too late. Only time will tell if this strategy is the best approach to be taken when attempting to attract North American MMA fans. MMA fans on this continent are used to being the victim of an all out media bombardment before each monthly UFC event and that is from a brand that people recognize, will the response be the same for a company that is fairly unknown to the casual fan ? One thing is for sure, you can not underestimate the drawing power of a company that once attracted over 90,000 MMA fans to ONE EVENT!

K1 Banks On Big Names from the Past for Future Success

K1 Dynamite has scheduled a long overdue rematch between two MMA legends to highlight their June 2nd card. Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba will again do battle in a repeat match of their epic Pride 2000 Grand Prix war. Sakuraba defeated Gracie in the first match when, after 90 minutes, Royce was forced to throw in the towel. Gracie has stated in many interviews leading up to the June 2nd fight that it is not personal and he is not looking for revenge. That being said, one has to think that Royce will be looking to restore his family name when he enters the ring to face “The Gracie Hunter” Sakuraba.

The rest of the card, which is really three MMA events in one, will be rounded out with solid bouts between current MMA / K1 stars, professional wrestling superstars and former professional athletes. This show will be one of the biggest MMA spectacles North American fans have seen to date.

The fight card will be broken down is greater detail as we get closer to June 2nd. The following is the current tentative fight card.

Prelim Fights (Will not air on Showtime or PPV)

Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti vs. Nam Phan
Hideo Tokoro vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett
Javier Vasquez vs. Katsuhiko Nagata

Fights that will air on Showtime from 9:00pm – 10:00 pm EST

Jake Shields vs. Ido Pariente
Gina Carano vs. Jan Finney
Antonio Silva vs. Jonathan Wiezorak

Fights that will air on pay per view from 10:00pm – 1:00am EST

Brock Lesnar vs. Hang Man-Choi
Royce Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba (Pending Sakuraba’s medical clearance)
Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoon Dong Sik
Ray Sefo vs. Marvin Eastman
Mighty Mo Siliga vs. Choi Mu Bae
Johnnie Morton vs. Bernard Ackah

Suggested pay per view price is $34.95


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