Fans, do not despair. DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki has told Tokyo Sports today that he will take up the reins of Japanese MMA and promote a New Years Eve show at Saitama Super Arena.
Saeki said it is a snap decision, but that the state of Japanese MMA has been in a dire position and is ripe for a renewal, so he can’t let the historical event die out. Sponsors and broadcast deals still have to be worked out.
The card has not been decided at this point, but Saeki said he would ask for advisory participation from the other Japanese organizations such as Pancrase and Shooto. There will be a women’s MMA match as well.
The New Years Eve event started to rival a major all-day music festival. FEG, PRIDE, and Antonio Inoki’s federation all showcased an event in 2003: Dynamite!!, Shockwave, and Bom-Ba-Ye. Hundreds of thousands of people packed Tokyo’s arenas and many, many more watched a live broadcast from home.
It’s a mere 11 years since it all began yet the strong tradition is still clamored for by MMA fans not only in Japan but across the globe. Saeki will now take up the mantle to fulfill the historical dream.