Glory CEO Says There Are No More Plans For Dream Shows Beyond Dream 18
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Glory Sports International CEO Marcus Leur says the company isn’t looking to commit to any more DREAM shows, even after funding DREAM.18 in conjunction with its first kickboxing event.
He said: “We are, naturally, in discussions to look at more for DREAM in Japan, but that has to be something that’s decided after the show.“
GSI bought Dutch kickboxing promotion GLORY and It’s Showtime earlier this year. They just held an end-of-the-year event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It featured the eight-fight DREAM.18 card as a lead-in for a one night, 16-man kickboxing tournament, GLORY 4: Tokyo. The event had modified rules to speed things up and aired live on CBS Sports Network. DREAM.18 will air tonight at 10 PM ET.
Luer said that partnership with CBS was “one-off” but discussions are ongoing with several TV networks for future shows. They plan to promote two or three kickboxing events in the US in 2013 and hold several eight-man tournaments to create new stars. He added that their partnership with DREAM gave them leverage with Japanese broadcasters while putting the event together.
After years of dropping revenues, DREAM (created after PRIDE closed) teamed up with ONE FC but was reported to be closed by June. The UFC took advantage by returning to Japan for the first time in a decade for UFC 144 at the Super Arena in February. They plan to go back on March 2 for UFC on FUEL TV 8, which features Wanderlei Silva.
Luer added: “Whatever the UFC does in the marketplace is great. They’re the market leader; everybody looks at them in terms of how big they are as a brand. But we have good fighters here. We have guys that have fought in the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator.“
DREAM’s roster includes Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Bibiano Fernandes (who turned down a UFC contract for ONE FC). Luer said that GSI had several employees from DREAM make the fight card to give it a Japanese feel while Glory’s card was for international audiences. Most of the fighters came from Golden Glory. Luer says that the management and promotion parts of the new company were separated.
He said: “I wouldn’t call it a one-off, but it was an interesting opportunity to take this unique slot on Dec. 31, which has a lot of tradition in this country and around the world.“