Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) continues to creep into the Japanese market after partnering with Japan's number one social networking and blog site, Ameba Blog, to create UFC/WEC fighter blog pages.
MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Ameba ... get those bookmarks organized folks.
Though you must be able to read Japanese to comprehend the content of these blogs, the non-Japanese fans can nevertheless get a glimpse of the day-to-day happenings and musings of the fighters, as a lot of the entries include pictures.
As anyone who frequents MMA news sites would know, Sexyama fever has swept the cyberspace. During Yoshihiro Akiyama's entrance at UFC 100, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg made sure to introduce the casual MMA fans to Akiyama's moniker. Also, during the broadcast of DREAM 10, HDNet Fight announcer, Mike Schiavello referred to Akiyama by the nickname, as the camera spotted the Korean-Japanese MMA star/model/pop star in the crowd.
Due to his Korean ethnicity, he boasts immense popularity in South Korea: It looks like no amount of nyquil can alleviate the Sexyama fever there. After his foray as a pop star and TV appearances on numerous occasions, Korean fans and media cannot get enough of him, as evidenced by the following photos:
According to Akitoshi Tamura's blog entry on Sept. 16, Tamura has apparently withdrawn from his scheduled bout with Damacio Page at WEC 43 on Oct. 6 due to rib injury. His injury and subsequent decision of withdrawal have either been unreported or fallen through the cracks: Neither WEC nor any major MMA news site has broken the news. Perhaps the news is awaiting confirmation from sources close to Tamura.
The WEC 43 bout, scheduled for maincard, will have been his second fight as a bantamweight. Prior to WEC 40, he spent an entire career as a featherweight during which he captured the Shooto title. Upon his submission loss to Wagnney Fabiano in his WEC debut at WEC 37, he dropped to bantamweight. In his bantamweight debut at WEC 40, Tamura triumphed with a unanimous decision victory over the former title challenger, Manny Tapia.
Caol Uno's future remains up in air -- no news regarding his UFC tenure or his bout schedule has surfaced. Uno made his UFC return at UFC 99 in Germany and dropped a unanimous decision against Spencer Fisher. Browsing through his blog, it appears that he has been training as usual with no injuries of note. Since departing his long-time home of Wajyutsu Keishukai, he has been trotting through various gyms, including Akiyama's newly opened gym.
Thus, come fight time, he should have no problem procuring quality trainers and training partners. The question is, of course, when, where, and whom he will fight next. On a completely unrelated note, he has recently ditched faux mullet (!?) for short, bleached blonde hair.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Ameba-UFC connection as more fighters sign on — or in the best case scenario, the UFC finally makes its return to Japan.