RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

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RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by Kinosis on Wed May 25, 2016 12:09 pm



SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Oct. 21, 2006, and Feb. 24, 2007 are dates that will forever live in mixed martial arts lore.

Those are the respective dates for PRIDE 32 and 33 in Las Vegas, the opportunity to see the legendary Japanese promotion in person that American fight fans had awaited for years.

The pair of cards at UNLV's Thomas and Mack Center delivered, too. Especially PRIDE 33, which featured a matchup between Nick Diaz and Takanori Gomi that is regularly name-checked among the most exciting fights in the sport's history; and Dan Henderson's knockout win over Wanderlei Silva, which made him the only simultaneous two-weight-class world MMA champion, an honor he holds to this day.

Current RIZIN CEO and former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, considers those evenings to be among the most memorable events he has promoted.

"In the PRIDE days, we did shows in Las Vegas," Sakakibara said. "I was very emotional to put on an event [in the city] where MMA was born as a major event."

So, does Sakakibara have plans on bringing his new company Stateside? In its first year, after all, RIZIN is already bringing it's product outside the Japanese home market, co-promoting Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 17.

But Sakakibara says they'll wait until the time is right.

"My dream is, I want to come back to US market with RIZIN," Sakakibara said. "We need the right time. We have to bring people back to the Japanese market, first."

Of course, a potentially stumbling block is getting RIZIN's PRIDE-style rules approved in a U.S. commission state. Back in 2006-07, PRIDE's events were held under a modified system, retaining the 10-minute opening round, but adopting the 10-point-must system used in North America.

The unified rules have become more deeply ingrained in the system over the past decade. But Sakakibara believes he'll be able to meet in the middle on rulesets again in order to stage an eventual show in a commission state.

"We've negotiated with the commissions before in the past, about certain rules and whatnot," Sakakibara said. "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 from a fighter's safety standpoint. 10-minute rounds shouldn't be that hard, shouldn't be harder than having to accept soccer-ball kick."

http://www.mmafighting.com/2016/5/24/11668642/rizin-ceo-says-company-will-promote-in-america-at-the-right-time

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by CDF47 on Wed May 25, 2016 9:05 pm

Would be great if they came to the States again.  Only downside would be they couldn't use the full rules here. It is a good sign that they are already planning international expansion.  That was quick.  

Their first co-promoted event is the Fight Nights Fedor fight coming up.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by Kinosis on Thu May 26, 2016 12:23 am

^Yup, nice to see them having that on their minds. People like Joe Rogan were saying they would be out of business after a couple of shows. Of course he is employed by Rizin's competitor and zuffa is known for their smear campaigns.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by TeepToTheJunk on Thu May 26, 2016 1:42 am

Kinosis wrote:^Yup, nice to see them having that on their minds.  People like Joe Rogan were saying they would be out of business after a couple of shows.  Of course he is employed by Rizin's competitor and zuffa is known for their smear campaigns.  
True.

Pride is Rizin. They aren't going anywhere. Big things ahead.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by Rizin=PRIDEFC on Thu May 26, 2016 9:19 am

If they went to Indian casino they would not have to deal with commission and they could use PRIDE rules?

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by Kinosis on Thu May 26, 2016 11:03 am

^Interesting point. Not sure.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by God of Thunder on Thu May 26, 2016 5:32 pm

Rizin=PRIDEFC wrote:If they went to Indian casino they would not have to deal with commission and they could use PRIDE rules?
I don´t think it´s too hard to use Pride rules if they choose the right city.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by CDF47 on Thu May 26, 2016 10:43 pm

Kinosis wrote:^Yup, nice to see them having that on their minds.  People like Joe Rogan were saying they would be out of business after a couple of shows.  Of course he is employed by Rizin's competitor and zuffa is known for their smear campaigns.  

Yeah, when Rizin was announced, it was an all out Zuffa blitz smear campaign against them.

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Re: RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara says company will promote in America at 'the right time'

Post by CDF47 on Thu May 26, 2016 10:44 pm

Rizin=PRIDEFC wrote:If they went to Indian casino they would not have to deal with commission and they could use PRIDE rules?

They should definitely consider this option if they could make it work

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