Reports surfaced late yesterday indicating that World Victory Road's "Sengoku Raiden Championship" New Year's Eve supershow at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum has been canceled for Dec. 31.
Despite awaiting official confirmation, the news of the event's peril was first reported by BloodyElbow.com after a turbulent turn of events this week has seemingly put the fight card in jeopardy.
The news comes on the heel of WVR's decision to call off a press conference regarding the NYE event. The announcements regarding the highly anticipated television contract that WVR has been working to secure to broadcast the event would have been the highlight of the conference.
No details have been released, thus stoking the suspicion that WVR may have been unable to land the broadcast deal.
Besides the headlining bout between two former judo Olympic gold medalists, Hidehiko Yoshida and Satoshi Ishii, several title bouts have been rumored for the event. With the plan for the mega-event scheduled for the prime television slot of the year imperiled, WVR may now join forces with rival Japanese promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group to stage one big, MMA/K-1 fight card.
The putative collaboration between WVR and FEG has been reported in Japan by Tokyo Sports -- note that, given the newspaper's known predilection for tabloid-style sensationalism, its report must be taken with a grain of salt.
According to the paper, the merged fight card will take place at Saitama Super Arena and air on TBS, as the regular DREAM and K-1 events do. The combined card may include cross-promotional bouts pitting fighters under the WVR and DREAM/FEG banners.
Furthermore, Tokyo Sports reports that the president of Don Quijote, WVR's main sponsor, and FEG president, Sadaharu Tanikawa, have been meeting privately since last month. After a series of meetings, they have reached the co-promotion deal for the NYE event earlier this month.
Tanikawa, DREAM event producer, Keiichi Sasahara and WVR PR director, Takahiro Kokuho have refused to comment on the Tokyo Sports report.
Expect a major press conference in the coming weeks to reveal the details of the co-promoted fight card.