For a brief period, it had appeared that major MMA in Japan had seen its final days when Dream’s parent company Real Entertainment closed its doors earlier this year. But then things quickly changed.
In stepped Glory, announcing that the promotion would revive Dream for at least one more New Year’s Eve show from the Saitama Super Arena.
“Dream has a great name in Japan – it has a great name around the world – but it’s a very strong Japanese product, so it allows us from the get-go to be more dominant in the Japanese market, which is an important piece of the puzzle in our global quest,” said Glory Managing Director Marcus Luer.
“Taking over the Dec. 31 date also is very significant with what MMA and K-1 had done in the past on NYE in Japan. It’s a big day for the martial arts world, and we like the combination of being able to get in that slot and being able to do what we bring in the stand-up fighting world bigger and better.”
According to Luer, Glory had set its eyes on expanding world-wide, and Dream’s availability just happened to come at the right time.
“Glory as a brand has always had a global approach and global vision,” said Luer. “Japan has always been part of the plan to expand into this marketplace, and Dream has allowed us to be quicker, bigger, better in Japan. It just fell nicely into what we were looking for.”
For Dream 18: Special NYE 2012, Glory will be bringing together the best of Japanese MMA with their own 16-man heavyweight kickboxing tournament to form one big night of fighting.
Luer tells MMAWeekly.com that not only will the fights themselves follow in the tradition of big NYE cards, but the production values will match as well.
“We’re going to spend a lot of money on production and bring some new technology into it as well,” he said. “We’re trying to take it a step higher, (and these shows) have always been very large and very grand. That’s exactly the direction we’re going to take it as well and try to make it a big spectacle.”
Currently Glory is set to back this one Dream show, but there is a possibility of more if things work out between the promotions.
As for Glory itself, Luer says the company will be headed to the United States in the coming year and has plans to continue to become a world-wide brand for combat sports.
“We just spent the week here trying to finalize some pieces to make a ‘full assault’ on the U.S.,” said Luer. “We’re rolling out some events early next year; we’re going to be on TV and will be launching our first full big Glory show there next year as well.
“We’re hitting on as on many cylinders on as many parts of the world simultaneously here. The U.S. is very important to us and is a very big piece of the puzzle, and so is Japan.”
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