RIZIN is the only major Japanese MMA event. Report from Japan.

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Hi everyone! I'm Goto.

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In this article, I am introducing "What is RIZIN" to overseas from Japan.

I don't usually use English, so it may contain wrong expressions. Please note that.

What is RIZIN

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RIZIN is Japanese MMA event and regarded as a successor event of PRIDE. PRIDE was once the world's most popular MMA event, but it was bought by UFC, and finished in 2007. RIZIN inherits a lot of the staff of PRIDE and has partnership with a big television station called FujiTV. Many fighters also have a history of PRIDE. Such as Fedor Emelianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, Mirco Cro Cop, Wanderlei Silva and so on.

And RIZIN is the only major MMA event in Japan. After PRIDE disappeared and DREAM also disappeared afterwards, Japanese MMA almost died. Some maniac fans enjoy local events or just watching overseas events such as UFC. Many ordinary people are not interested in MMA at all. Under such circumstances, RIZIN began at the end of 2015.

Why many Japanese lost interest in MMA

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I don't know how UFC and other major MMA event in each country are received at the site. However, looking at various statistical information, it is felt that the spread extends beyond only maniac fans, spanning the entire sports scene. On the other hand, only maniac fans are interested in Japanese MMA. Why is that?

This is my opinion, Japanese MMA was a transient boom. It was too huge and long, so it did not notice that it was a boom.

PRIDE gathered more than 40,000 spectators in the same area many times per year and there were ten million to twenty million television viewers. The situation lasted about 10 years, so it was thought that it continues forever. However, in fact it was attracted by gorgeous directing and an easy-to-understand game with a lot of KO, and people eventually get tired of it.

Of course, that is not the only reason. PRIDE suddenly ceased broadcasting from Fuji Television in 2006 and faced to financial crisis. PRIDE sold to UFC due to the financial crisis, and the MMA event that began after that did not make it possible to invite the top fighter as before.

Either way, after PRIDE, even if imitated PRIDE's way, it never sounded to people. We recognize that as a boom.

RIZIN is also an MMA event and a TV program

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I mentioned earlier that PRIDE got into financial crisis due to the cessation of television broadcasting. For that reason RIZIN must continue to have television broadcasts to invite attractive fighters. Thanks to the television broadcasts, RIZIN can pay money to fighters such as Mirco Cro Cop.

However, Japanese television broadcasting is different from other countries such as the United States. That means that the nationwide broadcasting of television broadcasting in Japan is predominantly dominant, and local broadcasting has little influence. Fuji Television, which RIZIN is affiliated with, is also a nationwide broadcast, and for the purpose it is necessary to be an easy-to-understand match for everyone of all age and gender. That's why there are occasions where a crazy match is appeared.

RIZIN has two-sidedness

RIZIN provides both friendly games for viewers and advanced matches for MMA fans. The former is "Gabi Garcia vs Shinobu Kandori", the latter is "Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Kron Gracie".

Gabi Garcia is a Jujitsu world champion and you may know as well. Shinobu Kandori is a famous women professional wrestler in Japan and appeared on many TV program. She is so famous enough to be a Diet member. However, she was only an great judoist 30 years ago and has no career about MMA. Fighters who are sympathetic to viewers are required to fight.

On the other hand, "Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Kron Gracie" may not be a game for TV viewers. However, it is what makes fans warm. The popularity of traditional MMA fighters is not high. Aside from fighters who have produced tremendous KO like Mirko Cro Cop.

RIZIN seems to be seeking success with these two directions.

Goals for RIZIN

RIZIN does not aim to become an exclusive MMA event like UFC. RIZIN declares that it is aiming for one symbol in MMA, in cooperation with other MMA event around the world.

However, it is clear that when looking at the fight cards, it is too ad hoc. I can not see the long-term vision of what RIZIN wants to do. This was the same as DREAM which is the Japanese MMA event before of RIZIN.

Although DREAM was also attracting high attention initially, it gradually lost attention and disappeared. I want RIZIN to prosper for a long time, unlike DREAM.