Just like he did when he was head cheese for the now-defunct PRIDE FC mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, Nobuyuki Sakakibara wants to bring Japanese MMA stateside.
And he wants to do it with his new baby, Rizin FF, the upstart Japan-based company with three events already under its belt.
But since Rizin is still in its infancy, Sakikabara wants to make sure the timing is right before he brings his roster of fighters — which includes Fedor Emelianenko — to a city like Las Vegas, Nevada. As Sakikabara told MMA Fighting, a few things have to go down before such a big move is made.
“In the PRIDE days, we did shows in Las Vegas. I was very emotional to put on an event [in the city] where MMA was born as a major event. My dream is, I want to come back to US market with RIZIN. We need the right time. We have to bring people back to the Japanese market, first.”
PRIDE 32 and PRIDE 33, which were held in Las Vegas in 2006 and 2007, respectively, were both major successes for the promotion, which staged classic bouts including Dan Henderson vs. Wanderlei Silva, Nick Diaz vs, Takanori Gomi, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mark Coleman, and Mauricio Rua vs. Alistair Overeem.
While Rizin’s roster isn’t as stacked, Sakikabara is always working on adding familiar names to his company.
As far as adjusting overseas rules to comply the the unified rules of America, Sakikabara is more than confident that it won’t be an issue.
“We’ve negotiated with the commissions before in the past, about certain rules and whatnot. And I believe that soccer-ball kicks, knees to the head, those type of stuff may be difficult to negotiate, hard to get to, but the 10-minute rounds shouldn’t be that much of an issue ….View full article
Source:: mma mania