Thanks to a great thread on the UG forum, MMA veteran Enson Inoue has given us his thoughts on many things, but one of the most interesting are his thoughts on Japanese MMA. The “Yamato Damashi” who has more tattoos than there are islands in Hawaii, and most recently added a nice one in honor of his incredible pilgrimage across Japan, spoke openly about a number of topics, from his toughest fights to his training methods. However, his insight to the Japanese MMA scene says much about the man and how deep inside the sport he was.
“Mma in japan is not dead. Maybe K-1s Tanigawa was just talking about himself that fucken crook. he has 2 Y organizations pissed and after him.” By “Y”, he means Yakuza and Tanigawa refers to Sadaharu Tanigawa, the current head of K-1. He added more about that specific person, “Yes Tanigawa is a very dishonest who is on his way down hard.” Another poster asked if it was possible for a person or company without Yakuza ties to bring back the popularity of MMA, and if they could be on the same scale as Pride FC, which Inoue answered, “Yes someone respected by the fighters, fans, and Yakuza will be able to revive JMMA…. and No. It would be impossible to run a big MMA promotion without getting involved with the Yakuza.”
UPDATE: I asked Enson to delve a bit more into what the Yakuza controls with Japanese MMA in the forum, to which he responded, “More than control, you have to pay them to work in their territory. So instead of going in with no backing and get eaten up by the sharks… it’s smartest to collaborate with a Yakuza group, give them a percentage and they keep all the other sharks away.”
Enson also announced that once his probation for possession of marijuana ends in 2012, he will be available to conduct seminars internationally once more. In 2012, his autobiography will be released as well, which we can expect to have a ton of untold behind the scenes stories about MMA. Inoue always has plenty of great information on the sport and is very forthcoming with that knowledge, which just makes him even more of a treasure to MMA fans everywhere.