Figured it would be useful to have a catch-all thread for Japanese promotions since they don't usually generate enough interest for GDTs. Also this way you can avoid spoilers on the overseas events if you don't stay up all night watching them! I realize K-1 isn't really MMA, but since they also own DREAM and some guys compete in both, I figured I'd lump it in here. I think most of the regs here are familiar with MMA in Japan, but if you aren't then here's a mini-primer: What are the major Japanese MMA promotions? The two biggest ones right now are DREAM and Sengoku. They're pretty similar with only a couple of differences in terms of rules (see below). In general DREAM attracts bigger names and puts on a bigger production, but Sengoku has developed into a solid promotion as well. Both have only been around for about a year and a half, and came out of the dissolution of PRIDE, which ran from about 1997-2007 and was pretty much the pinnacle of MMA in Japan. Many former PRIDE fighters have ended up in the UFC (Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Minotauro Nogueira and Dan Henderson, among others) but some stuck around Japan as well. K-1 is owned by the same people as DREAM and as a result has some fighters who compete in both. It's a kickboxing organization though, so no ground fighting (although apparently Badr Hari forgot this at the GP finals last year...) There are other promotions like Shooto, DEEP, GCM and some others but I know next to nothing about them. What are the main differences between MMA in Japan and North America? There are a few major ones: - MMA in Japan is usually fought in a ring rather than a cage. This usually results in better visibility (at least for people there) but has the unfortunate side effect that fights often have to be stopped and restarted when fighters get close to or caught in the ropes. - Scoring is a bit different depending on the organization. Rather than using the 10-point must system that boxing and most MMA orgs use, some Japanese promotions score the fight as a whole. (Basically, the guy you think "won" the fight wins the decision, not the guy who won the most rounds). Also, DREAM currently has a 10-minute first round and 5-minute second round, which is a holdover from PRIDE. Sengoku uses the North American system of three 5-minute rounds, with championship fights being 5 rounds (however, I don't think they use 10-point must for scoring). - Elbowing an opponent's head on the ground is not allowed, but kneeing the head of a downed opponent is. Soccer kicking or stomping a downed opponent is not allowed in either DREAM or Sengoku, unlike PRIDE. - There aren't really official sanctioning bodies in Japan, and in general MMA is more geared towards entertainment than it is in North America (where it's treated more strictly as a sport). This results in the odd infamous "freakshow" match that would never get sanctioned over here but sells tickets over there. Some examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUSdLcq2FF0 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8687255343464345443 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54wAIiMvUlQ Who are the biggest names in those organizations? A non-exhaustive list in no particular order: DREAM Shinya Aoki is a really good submission fighter who unfortunately got his face caved in in about 30 seconds in his last fight. Not sure what he's up to next. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai is the guy who caved his face in to advance to the next round of their welterweight Grand Prix Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri is a pretty well-rounded, aggressive lightweight. He's fighting Gesias "JZ" Calvancante in DREAM's next show. Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen won DREAM's lightweight Grand Prix as an alternate last year, but hasn't fought since. He was supposed to fight on New Year's eve but had some kind of head injury and I haven't heard any news since then. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto is one of the biggest stars in Japan and probably the favourite to win DREAM's ongoing featherweight grand prix. Gegard Mousasi won DREAM's middleweight grand prix last year but also hasn't fought since. He's moving up to 205 lbs and is rumored to be fighting Sokoudjou on DREAM's upcoming card. Sengoku Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is a pretty good light heavyweight prospect who's just starting his career over in Japan. Takanori "Fireball Kid" Gomi was one of PRIDE's biggest stars but has hit a bit of a rough patch lately with two straight losses. I'm not actually sure if he's still fighting in Sengoku Satoru Kitaoka won Sengoku's lightweight Grand Prix and handed Gomi his last loss. Jorge Santiago is their middleweight Grand Prix champ but I don't know what he's up to right now. What's coming up next? Both DREAM and Sengoku have cards coming up in May, and both will feature the second round of each org's respective featherweight grand prix. As I mentioned, DREAM's has bigger names in it, but I actually thought the first round of Sengoku's was much more entertaining. http://mmajunkie.com/event/618/world-victory-roads-sengoku-eighth-battle.mma http://mmajunkie.com/event/626/dream-9.mma DREAM is also running a welterweight grand prix, though I don't think the next round has been announced yet. The 4 finalists are Sakurai, Andre Galvao, Jason High and Marius Zaromskis.