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‘An attempt to draw younger children’

If you were wondering what the fuck was the reasoning behind the Bob Sapp / Kinnikuman fight from New Years eve, Dave Meltzer has the answer:

Sapp’s career in Japan seemed to be over a few months ago. K-1 had lost interest in him as a fighter after a quick loss to Jan Nortje in Tacoma, and he was fired by a comedy-oriented pro wrestling group that seemed to be the last rung on his ladder of fading fame.

He was brought back largely to be a huge sacrificial lamb with a mainstream name to kick off creating Kinniku Mantaro as an attempt to draw younger children to MMA matches in 2009. Like so many of the plans on this show, things didn’t turn out as expected.

So basically Kinnikuman was FEG’s version of Jar Jar Binks, except in the end we got to see Jar Jar get punched in the face repeatedly. While I can’t deny I got a decent amount of pleasure out of the whole spectacle, it is decisions, matchups, and reasoning like this on the part of FEG that make me afraid for the future of the Japanese MMA scene.