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Who put the hallucinogens in the DREAM kool-aid?

The power of nostalgia is an amazing thing. So powerful that it can make an average product appear to be much more than it really is so long that it offers a few elements that take you back to a time of greatness.

In the past 12 hours I’ve received a lot of e-mails, IMs, and phone calls that pretty much go like this: “Did you watch DREAM!? Man, how great was that?”

Great!? Wow, since when did the standard for greatness sink so low?

DREAM.3 wasn’t a bad way to kill nearly five hours on a Sunday afternoon. But aside from a fight of the year candidate between Eddie Alvarez and Joachim Hansen, what was so great about it? DREAM might have similar look to PRIDE; use a lot of its unique elements such as the Grand Prix format; and utilize a lot of the same fighters, but it’s not PRIDE. Not by a longshot.

I realize I am in the minority when I say that I was hardly impressed by DREAM.3, but then again, I stopped drinking the PRIDE kool-aid the day Zuffa bought the company from Dream Stage Entertainment. I think it’s high-time people start judging DREAM on the merits of DREAM and not on the past accomplishments of PRIDE.

And when you look at DREAM as a stand alone product, you begin to see it for what it really is:

a watered down version of PRIDE. DREAM.3 was a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the promotion. I just have so many issues with the show I just watched that I don’t know where to begin. But let’s start with the production. Sorry folks, the stage setup we saw was not of PRIDE quality. The stage concept for DREAM.3 looked like NASA was doing construction on a satellite. The rampway was especially awkward, as it looked like a detour entrance area for the fighters to walk through because the normal ramp was out of order.

And don’t get me started on matchmaking. Yes, I know PRIDE provided its fair share of mis-matches over the years, but it was done with the intent to build stars. If they put an up and coming guy with someone that couldn’t hang with him, the sacrificial lamb at least a respectable fighter at one point in his career. Instead of giving of a bunch of has-beens, DREAM is feeding us a steady diet of never-will-bes.

I understand they are trying to make Jason “Mayhem” Miller into a big star in Japan, and understandably so. But could the talent differential be narrowed to the equivalent of pro vs. college as opposed to pro vs. high school? Is that too much to ask? And people are surprised that the ratings for the first two DREAM cards were low!? I mean, c’mon, Caol Uno vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida as your main event? I am not even certain if Ishida vs. Uno would have been good enough to headline a Bushido card. Which begs the question, why do so many people mark out to Ishida? When Josh Koscheck first started out everyone killed the guy because he relied too much on his wrestling yet Ishida gets a free pass? I respect Ishida as a fighter. He’s a tremendous wrestler. But he’s a little too one-dimensional right now for my tastes.

Another beef for me was HDNet’s production. Let me preface this by saying Kenny Rice is a good man and an accomplished announcer. I also have enjoyed his work on most of the MMA telecasts I’ve seen on HDNet. But he was not on his game for DREAM.3. I thought he did a much better job for Yarrenoka! when he touched down in Japan only a few hours before the show started. This time around, it was pretty obvious that he and Bas Rutten were in the U.S. doing a voiceover of the feed in a production studio. But what I don’t understand is that Rice was well-rested and ready this time around, yet sounded like he was in major need of a Red Bull.

My biggest issue was the call during the Alvarez vs. Hansen match. To me, that was without question a match of the year candidate. But Rice called it with the same kind of energy you’d expect for an opening match. The first round of the fight was the best round of the whole tournament that I’ve seen thus far but you wouldn’t know that by listening to the telecast. There was almost no storytelling. Alvarez scored two knockdowns in the first round. That’s a huge deficit in the scoring right there. Why didn’t they push Hansen’s need to finish Alvarez in order to have any chance to win that fight? There were just so many dramatic moments in that fight and incredible exchanges on the feet and the ground that were pooh-poohed.

DREAM is looking to build new stars yet there was relatively little buildup of the fighters. I heard very little on the background of the fighters and who they were and what was at stake. Unless I missed it, there was no discussion about how Alvarez was formerly a welterweight who dropped down after suffering the first loss of his pro career to Nick Thompson and about how he’s on the cusp of becoming a top ten lightweight. There was also no discussion about how Hansen was a staple of PRIDE’s Bushido shows and how he’s one of the toughest fighters in all of MMA. Did they even address the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles scenario that Nick Diaz experienced regarding his fight and being on the card?

I realize HDNet just recently got the rights to DREAM, but I still really felt they sounded overly unprepared. The pacing of the show was brutal. HDNet can’t be blamed for that but they can be blamed for a lack of content to compensate during the lulls. The intermission was especially embarrassing. How many times can you show the same tournament brackets? Why not try and sell “Inside MMA” to the viewing audience and go back to the studio for a special edition of the show where they have a moderator with a roundtable format featuring some fighters and or writers giving their thoughts on the matches that took place thus far? Then, they can also offer predictions for the remaining fights along with their breakdown. And can anything be done to cut down on the awkwardness that is experienced every time they had to cut away from FEG’s feed between fights?

The reality is that many of the HDNet telecasts I’ve seen are lacking in content and context.

Unfortunately, when they tried to add both content and context with the Mayhem Miller vignette that aired in the beginning of the show, they swung and missed. The segment jumped all over the place and I swear that the voiceover guy read the last paragraph three times in a row with some slight variations. Speaking of the voiceover guy, was it just me or was his voice a little much given the nature of the piece?

Look, I am grateful and appreciative of all the MMA action that HDNet is bringing to the table and I know they don’t have an unlimited budget, but I would like to see them try to up their game a little bit. That said, HDNet can only be blamed for so much. Much of the problems with DREAM.3 were because of DREAM, whether people want to admit that or not. Unlike some people who mark out to DREAM, I actually used to watch PRIDE. I enjoyed PRIDE. As an MMA fan, I grew up with PRIDE. But DREAM sir, you are no PRIDE.

63 COMMENTS
  • D says:

    Sam,

    MMAWeekly is reporting that DREAM and ProElite are now partners. Any news on your front?

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  • ttt says:

    i agree there was no main draw but it seems from this piece your beefs are primarily with
    i. the HDNet Production not not so much the fights
    ii. Ishida being boring (no one disagrees)
    iii. Miller giving someone the beatdown

    … is that it? no comments on the other fights?

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  • Reaser says:

    Don’t judge DREAM on HDnet, HDnet’s coverage of DREAM 1, 2 and 3 was a disgrace, terrible production, random graphics over fighter intro’s and during the staredown…

    and why did they just cut away at the end of the event??

    You don’t say EliteXC sucks because Bill Goldberg is an announcer sometimes…So let’s throw that arguement out…

    Well actually, that takes about about 75% of your argument against DREAM, all this production stuff, all of HDnets fault, watch the Japanese telecast of DREAM, 100 times better…

    and another thing, events are always better if you watch them live, that’s a joy a lot of people get, some “fake fans” (for lack of a better word) like to not watch events live, then just sit through it the next day or days later and you are sitting there not excited for it, you probably know most of the results, and even if you avoided results you can fast forward through things, and even if you don’t do that, its still not live, live sports, watching a replay or taped version doesn’t cut it…

    Let’s get to the fights, ya, they are only on their 3rd show, they have a great LW tourney going on and have had other decent fights…What other promotion not owned by Zuffa is putting on better fights? EliteXC soon, with the all time classic Kimbo Slice-James Thompson main event???

    You support that main event, a fight that is worthless and crap, but a main event between two “stars” in Japan isn’t good???

    You say DREAM isn’t giving us has-beens and instead never will be’s…Better than EliteXC’s other classic Main Event of Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott which I’m guessing you supported also (sorry for assuming if you were against this main event, point still stands though)…

    Really, besides Zuffa owned promotions who’s putting out better fights and more exciting events? If you don’t watch it live then you don’t know because its not as exciting “wasting” a few hours the next day or days later…

    DREAM gave us a clear cut fight of the year candidate and have been giving us GREAT LW matchups.

    I hope that you or someone else on this site writes something soon like this;

    When you look at EliteXC as a stand alone product, you begin to see it for what it really is:

    A sleazy, herpes infested, UFC washout’s as their best fighters promotion.

    They have potentially fixed fights, with a boxing promoter that helped ruin boxing leading the way.

    On their own, they haven’t put on one good event without the “help” of strikeforce.

    Don’t even get me started on matchmaking, James Thompson in the main event!! Instead of giving us top ten fighters they are giving us has-beens, UFC washouts and fabricated “stars”…

    EliteXC has one legit in his weight class top ten fighter, DREAM has how many?? Oh ok…

    I could write more but this is probably long enough…

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  • Reaser says:

    And yes I’m aware that EliteXC and DREAM have the deal to co/cross promote now, but as a stand alone promotion, that’s where my comparisons were being made…

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  • mo says:

    nice article Sam, i completely agree. as soon as Eddie wins the Grand Prix he’ll finally make the money he is due here in the states.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Reaser:

    I don’t know why I am responding to you because too many times you make arguments with little merit or you respond to things without fully reading what I wrote.

    First, here are issues I have with DREAM that are not HDNet related:

    1. Mis-matches
    2. Lack of intriguing main events thus far
    3. In the case of this event, a clunky stage setup
    4. Pacing of the show (not HDNet’s fault)

    “You say DREAM isn’t giving us has-beens and instead never will be’s…Better than EliteXC’s other classic Main Event of Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott which I’m guessing you supported also (sorry for assuming if you were against this main event, point still stands though)…”

    I never supported Tank vs. Kimbo. So your assumption is incorrect. Word of advice Reaser, maybe you should make your arguments based on fact, not assumptions? When there was a March ShoXC with five lop-sided fights that ended in the first round, did I not complain then? So you’re going to stand by your point even though it was built around a false assumption? Well, why should anyone take you seriously?

    This isn’t about DREAM vs. EliteXC or DREAM vs. UFC. It’s about DREAM vs. DREAM… or, possibly DREAM vs. PRIDE in that thus far, I do not feel DREAM is living up to PRIDE’s reputation. Regardless, I analyze all of the events and give my honest opinion. I point out the GOOD AND THE BAD of all the promotions. If I write more bad about some promotions than others, it’s because in my view, I am seeing more bad in comparison to others. I’m not going to sit around with a quota and say, “Well, I said three negative things about promotion A so now I have to say three negative things about promotion B.” I call it the way I see it. A lot of times people see it differently. If you can’t handle the way I call it yet still read this site regularly, then I’m not the one with the problem.

    Argue the merits of my points without dragging in other entities. Was that pacing not too long? Do you support the matchmaking? Did you not find the stage setup a little awkward? You should be able to make arguments without getting personal. You should be able to argue on merit and the topics raised as opposed to muckraking.

    “Really, besides Zuffa owned promotions who’s putting out better fights and more exciting events? If you don’t watch it live then you don’t know because its not as exciting “wasting” a few hours the next day or days later…”

    Weak argument.

    At least bring something to the table Darrell, otherwise, what’s the point?

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  • Jay D. says:

    Agree that Kenny Rice was pretty lame but I would consider this a pretty weak piece. Really come across as looking for any small detail to not like. Hopefully HDNet steps it up next time but the fact that this is their 2nd live broadcast of it suggests they can.

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  • DocWagner says:

    This is what is so great about it…CULTURE SHOCK.
    It is absolutely refreshing to NOT hear curse words spoken by the commentators as well as fighters. It is refreshing to hear…NOTHING…SILENCE…the breathing of the fighters, the sounds of glove to face.

    Are we so used to constant noise…the constant “Grand Theft Auto” stimulation that we have forgotten the purity of fight?

    That is what is great about DREAM, the culture of combat sport.

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  • Tommy says:

    I agree with Sam on the mostly mismatched fights. On an average though I did enjoy the event. However Caplan needs to try not to enforce his desire on the Japs. They obviously enjoyed the fights and main event, plus sold out a huge arena. Maybe your favorite star isn’t theirs. Maruyama should have won!!!

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  • Ryder Die says:

    i dont care what you say and i usually like what I read from you but this article was way off. i agree the production could improve but japanese shows are different than american shows so there is going to be some differences in production. ant also they have to use who they can aquire on their cards. they just cant say i want this guy and this guy and this guy and they show up. i really think that they are soing a tremendous job as well as hdnet and i give nothing but good comments to both organizations.

    sorry caplan- but you are not correct this time

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  • William W. says:

    This was a great show in terms of the DREAM company finding their legs after a shaky first two shows. There were some good matches and some nice upsets (UNO!). However, going onto forums, I actually saw posts called this “the greatest MMA event of all time!” No joke.

    I thought it was great, but definitely not the greatest. I think a lot of fans watch with Japanese blinders on. For them, if it is a good show and it happens in Japan, it is the greatest thing ever as if they are part of some exclusive club.

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  • Sam, it’s atmosphere. A good steak tastes better in a really nice restaurant with your girl than it does out by a dumpster with Herman the local hobo. No one will ever beat the atmosphere of these shows, it makes it feel like you’re watching something special.

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  • Reaser says:

    Sam:

    I don’t really respond to anything you write usually, as I for the most part I only read the Duel and have been following the draft. Otherwise I only post a comment if I have an opinion, and most of the time its not to your “writing” so I have no idea what your talking about, but that’s you with assumption that I don’t fully read your writing. Word of advice Sam, maybe you should make your arguments based on fact, not assumptions?

    I said if you didn’t support the Kimbo main event then “sorry for assuming.” Made it pretty clear what I was saying when I wrote that.

    I didn’t read anything you wrote about the ShoXC event, so again, I have no idea what your talking about there. You were a fantasy football writer, why should anyone take you seriously?

    So you can compare DREAM vs. PRIDE, but because it doesn’t help your argument I’m not allowed to compare DREAM against EliteXC??? Please tell me also why DREAM has to live up to PRIDE’s reputation??? DREAM isn’t PRIDE, DREAM is 3 events old.

    I analyze what people write and give my honest opinion. I point out the GOOD AND THE BAD. If I comment more bad about something, it’s because in my view, I am seeing you were “wrong” in my opinion.

    Sam Says – “Argue the merits of my points without dragging in other entities.”

    So you can make your points using PRIDE but because it doesn’t help you I can’t use other entities???

    Sam Says – “Was that pacing not too long? Do you support the matchmaking? Did you not find the stage setup a little awkward?”

    Pacing is fine when you’re watching the Japan version, that’s an HDnet thing with not having good “filler”….I support Aoki-JZ, Hansen-Alvarez, mostly the entire LW tourney, I liked the first round of the MW tourney as well and in the next rounds the matches will be even better. I would agree with your statement about a fighter against High School level talent, like Mayhem’s fight….They do different things with the stage, it didn’t bother me, wasn’t the best but far from being a reason to think DREAM is terrible.

    Sam Says – “You should be able to make arguments without getting personal. You should be able to argue on merit and the topics raised as opposed to muckraking.”

    Laughable, arguments without getting personal, like how you started off your response to me with “I don’t know why I’m responding to you,” plus assuming that I don’t fully read what you write, which you complained about assumptions, so I find all that funny.

    Watching an event live is very different from watching it the next day or days later, I suggest, for anyone who didn’t, to watch DREAM live next time and feel the excitement as opposed to laying around days later and “wasting” a few hours watching it.

    Weak argument, yes, I agree, your argument against DREAM was weak, at best…

    For the record I did read what you wrote fully and you wrote this…

    “I think it’s high-time people start judging DREAM on the merits of DREAM and not on the past accomplishments of PRIDE.

    And when you look at DREAM as a stand alone product, you begin to see it for what it really is: A WATERED DOWN VERSION OF PRIDE….”

    So you say judge DREAM on the merits of DREAM and not PRIDE then the first thing you say about DREAM as a stand alone product is a comparison to PRIDE….again, laughable…

    I was by no means trying to pick your writing apart, I was stating my opinion/argument to what you wrote and you got personal.

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  • Reaser says:

    I agree with #10 (except the part about HDnet) and agree with #12….

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    “I don’t really respond to anything you write usually, as I for the most part I only read the Duel and have been following the draft. Otherwise I only post a comment if I have an opinion, and most of the time its not to your “writing” so I have no idea what your talking about, but that’s you with assumption that I don’t fully read your writing. Word of advice Sam, maybe you should make your arguments based on fact, not assumptions?”

    Not true Darrell. You have responded to a great many of my articles and have found it necessary on multiple occasions to disregard most of what I write in order to take some sort of petty pot shot at me. You’re one of the leading commenters on this site and you feel a need to comment on just about everything even if you don’t really have anything of substance to add. It’s not an assumption — it’s fact. Are you seriously going to claim that you don’t respond to my articles?

    “I didn’t read anything you wrote about the ShoXC event, so again, I have no idea what your talking about there. You were a fantasy football writer, why should anyone take you seriously?”

    Thank you for proving my argument. This is a perfect example of you taking a personal and petty cheap shot against me. Darrell, I don’t know what I ever did to you, but it’s obvious you don’t like me, which I am perfectly okay with. But if you want to keep posting on this site you need to stop making everything personal and you need to stay on track when you respond to someone’s articles.

    And whether anyone should take me seriously is up to them. I don’t force anyone to come to this site. You continually make the choice to enter “fiveouncesofpain.com” into your web browser. You also make the conscious decision to respond to a great deal of what is written on this site. You take this site seriously enough that you spend a lot of time on it.

    “I said if you didn’t support the Kimbo main event then “sorry for assuming.” Made it pretty clear what I was saying when I wrote that.”

    This is a perfect example of how you open your mouth often yet say very little of significance. Why would you state something that you aren’t sure is correct? Just because you preface your false assumptions with an apology does not mean your ignorance is going to be excused.

    “I didn’t read anything you wrote about the ShoXC event, so again, I have no idea what your talking about there. You were a fantasy football writer, why should anyone take you seriously?”

    LOL. So if you don’t read my writing, then why make statements about what I have or haven’t written?

    “So you can make your points using PRIDE but because it doesn’t help you I can’t use other entities???”

    You comment on my writing yet I wonder if you even fully read it before you decide to comment. The whole premise of the article was how DREAM is failing to follow in the footsteps of PRIDE.

    “So you can compare DREAM vs. PRIDE, but because it doesn’t help your argument I’m not allowed to compare DREAM against EliteXC??? Please tell me also why DREAM has to live up to PRIDE’s reputation??? DREAM isn’t PRIDE, DREAM is 3 events old.”

    See, you’ve made a valid argument about asking why DREAM has to live up to PRIDE’s reputation and DREAM only being three events old. Why can’t you bring more arguments to this to the table as opposed to getting personal and trying to distort the intent of my article?

    “Laughable, arguments without getting personal, like how you started off your response to me with “I don’t know why I’m responding to you,” plus assuming that I don’t fully read what you write, which you complained about assumptions, so I find all that funny.”

    You have a repeated track record of making things personal. Further more, you made false assumptions and statements in your response to my article. I treat people how they treat me. How can you cross the line and then get all sensitive when someone throws it back in your face?

    “Laughable, arguments without getting personal, like how you started off your response to me with “I don’t know why I’m responding to you,” plus assuming that I don’t fully read what you write, which you complained about assumptions, so I find all that funny.”

    You’ve mastered the art of talking in circles. Congratulations.

    “Watching an event live is very different from watching it the next day or days later, I suggest, for anyone who didn’t, to watch DREAM live next time and feel the excitement as opposed to laying around days later and “wasting” a few hours watching it.”

    You continue to be reckless and irresponsible with your comments. You claimed I supported the Tank vs. Kimbo main event when I did not. And now you’re using the term “wasting” in quotations as if I used that term in my article. I did not.

    There are quite a few people who disagree with my position, which I fully anticipated and there will be many more. But I didn’t feel a need to call them out because they merely stated their opinion without crossing a line. They didn’t make false assumptions and they haven’t mis-quoted me… both of which you have done. Either start acting more responsible when you post here or you’re not going to be allowed to comment here.

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  • TW says:

    Could not agree more with this article. Sam you have spoken the truth and keep up the excellent work.

    I have been to several UFC events and you cannot beat the energy of the Chuck v. Randy 3 fight. It was so loud I could not even hear my wife sitting beside me. I know it is the Japanese culture to sit “politely and quietly” during the fight but I don’t care for it. Dream will continue put on shows but it will never be PRIDE and it will never do well in the USA. The fighter entrances seem too cartoonish and almost pro-wrestling esque, but I guess that whats the Japanese like.

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  • Zack says:

    I thought the show was entertaining, but then again I Tivoed it and fastforwarded through everything that wasn’t a fight.

    It’s obvious what they are doing with Manhoef and Mayhem – they are feeding them bait dogs to build up their respective “myths”, just like they did with all the Pride heroes like Wandy, Fedor, CroCop, etc. Wand and Fedor are both great fighters, but they aren’t the unstoppable cartoon characters Pride fanboys would have you believe. The important thing to recognize is that Pride masterfully created them as cartoon characters by featuring them demolishing mostly a cast of stand ins.

    I nearly shat myself when Kim nearly got off on Manhoef – whose nuts to hug if the new non-UFC darling had lost?

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  • Donny says:

    Very weird

    almost 97% of the mma world loved this event with a passion. i dont see how u cant be in love with those fights. they were all amazing except for 2 mismatches.

    the stage looked good, dont know what your use to watching that looks so so much better.

    this is weird.

    when did u start watching mma?

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  • Patrick says:

    Hey Sam, if it’s any consolation, I agree with your points.

    I think it’s part of the growing pains of an organization, but I do think that the fanboys are going overboard again as per usual with them.

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  • Patrick says:

    To elaborate further:

    Dream is not executing these functions well:

    Matchmaking
    Talent Building
    New “good” talent introduction
    Proper people calling the fights
    Atmosphere (I’m not a fan of the whole “bright flashy lights” crap.)

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  • Reaser says:

    Sam, may I ask who Darrell is???

    perhaps that is why you continue to think I’ve responded to all this writing of yours….My first comment posted on this site I believe is when the first Duel happend, as I rarely ever came here before…

    So figure that out first, then make a valid “argument”…

    Hard to communicate with you when you think I’m some other poster, then make statements based off that and threats that I won’t be allowed to comment anymore, hah. Ok.

    and perhaps watch the next DREAM event live and see how it goes for ya then…

    or maybe where you live calling someone Darrell is like calling someone “dude” or something??? I don’t know, no one says that where I live…

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  • Reaser says:

    Plus you quoted what I said, then responded then quoted the exact same thing you had already quoted and responded again, with talking in circles…

    Not really sure about anything you were saying there, my first post and my response to you coming after me were great, and I made valid points instead of ducking questions…

    either way, maybe you were confused about a Darrell or hell, who knows, figure that out and we can continue when you’re ready to actually stand behind what you wrote instead of making weak excuses.

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  • Vess says:

    Mr.Caplan speaks the truth.

    If beatdowns of tomato cans are what you were looking for, then this show provided it. Thank you Mr. Caplan for not drinking the Japanese tainted Kool-Aid.

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  • Evan says:

    The show was awesome but for the most part you would have to be a fool to not know the outcome as the fighters walked down the ramp.

    I am grateful for DREAM and HDNET for providing it but looking on forums and blogs people are already comparing it to the UFC and thats insane.

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  • SteveXtreme says:

    We’re all having a lovely Mother’s Day I hope. ;)

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  • Dizzle says:

    “my first post and my response to you coming after me were great,”

    Haha this really made me laugh like he printed them and posted them on the fridge…..i just started coming to this website and have really enjoyed the articles and MOST of the intelligent replies made to them (love the draft by the way) but some of this guys comments so far remind me of why i don’t hit up sher as much anymore………

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  • Beer says:

    Matt, why is he calling you Darrell?

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Umm…not that I want any but…does anyone know where I can score a little bit of this”kool aid” stuff, how much is it and is Nick Diaz involved.

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  • jason hughes says:

    i believe somtimes people try to use this forum for there own agenda, i am a believer that once the article has been written and posted then it is up to the rest of us to post the opinion part of this site, i will admitt that i have squabbled with one or two certain people on this site , not because of there opinion but the long windedness of some of them, when i beilive an opinion can be quick and to the point and still be effective. i also hate to see all the back and forth banter, even i have in time participated in it myself, but what i am trying to say is this is a great site where most people read what is written, this blows those moron posters at sherdog out of the water and here you do not get threatend to get banned every time you try to express your self.

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  • Reaser says:

    Nice post #26

    Good post #27, little off on the treatend to be banned for expressing yourself, otherwise, good comment…

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Seriouly though people see events differently.
    Here’s an example, I like to watch Tim Sylvia fight, lots of people don’t. Lots of people think he’s is boring, to me he stands up throws punches and the odd kick, thats exciting, anybody could get knocked out at any time. Also the Shamrock vs Le fight, everybody was saying that the fight was amazing and could be fight of the year, I thought it was a boring sparring session that ended with Frank retiring hurt. Anyway I digress, my point is people look for different things in sports. Some people didn’t like Dream 3 and some people did and it doesn’t mean they were juiced up on scooby snacks or kool aid, it just means we like different things.
    Now Reaser and Caplan I want you both to shake hands and say I’m sorry…go on.
    P.S. Seriously does anyone know where I can get some A grade kool aid. I’ll pay top dollar.

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  • john says:

    Interesting point of view. I thought the fights on DREAM were quite good last night.

    On another topic, what’s on with your ProElite blog? It hasn’t been updated in a while. Can I remove from my RSS feed list?

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Thanks I just got an email from an S.Sherk saying he can get me some but not to tell any…one…oops!.

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  • Barry says:

    Personally I really enjoyed the ‘SHOW’. Yup, the show. There were some good fights and some ho-hum fights, but the overall show, I thought, was quite good. You gotta realise, that for mma to succeed on TV there has to be a ‘show’ aspect to the event. Hopefully there are some good legit fights to keep the hardcore fan coming back.

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  • Kogepan says:

    Hahhaa…you have been watching too much UFC.

    1) EIGHT fights, all quality fighters. No overhyped Tuffers like Tommy Speer or Khalib Starnes or Nate Quarry.

    2) Entertainment value…Nick Diaz/Mayhem…nuff said

    3) FOTY, Alavarez vs. Hansen. Alavarez is SHOOTING up the LW rankings. And this guy is doing it buy fighting fights, not goofing off on some TV show beating up random cans.

    4) LW semis will probably be Aoki vs. Alvarez and Uno vs. Kawajiri. How can you not get pumped by that?

    Sam, if you prefer to watch guys like Lutter, Gurgel, Starnes, Speer etc etc stink up the joint in the UFC thats great. Just don’t go out of your way to put down another product.

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  • cyph says:

    Mismatches galore. This is a staple of Pride and the tradition continues. Six big name fighters should make three matches, not six!

    I agree with Sam on his assessment of Dream 3. It’s no fun watching Jason Miller put on a nasty beat down on his over matched opponent. That’s not why I watch MMA. That fight made me ill.

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  • Fight Fan says:

    Thats it! Caplan is a secret UFC agent! We’re on to you Caplan or should I call you..DANA!

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  • Dr. Satan says:

    # 33 Kogepan Says:
    May 11th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Hahhaa…you have been watching too much UFC.

    1) EIGHT fights, all quality fighters. No overhyped Tuffers like Tommy Speer or Khalib Starnes or Nate Quarry

    This was so incredibly stupid that I felt the urge to respond.

    Katsuyori Shibata (one of your “quality” fighters) now sports a 2-4 record with notable wins against the 0-3 “Ice Man” (no, not Chuck Lidell, that’s actually the fighter’s name) and the 13-23 Yoshihisa Yamamoto.

    Be reminded that this is someone that you alluded to being better than Nate Quarry who is 10-2 with 6 of those wins coming in the UFC.

    So, Kopegan, you’re retarded. Its that simple. Just because someone fights in Japan does not make them a “quality” fighter. Likewise, just because someone was on TUF does not mean they suck.

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  • thepumaman says:

    Caplan, you have articulated my thoughts far better than I could have. Well done.

    Anyways, Pride VS UFC (and, by extension, Dream VS UFC) is the MMA version of Kirk VS Picard. Best not to get too mired in it and just enjoy the weird alien babes. I mean, fights.

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  • Kogepan says:

    Hey, and why bash DREAM for the HDNET commentary? So just because Kenny Rice is a terrible announcer the whole DREAM card should get downgraded?

    And you really shouldn’t compare UFC to Dream because of the frequency of fights guys in each org has to do per year. A top guy in the UFC fights around twice a year so of course those TWO fights will be against top opponents. Guys like Kawajiri etc in Dream have fought THREE times in less than the first five months of this year. Mayhem will be fighting another MW GP fight NEXT month.

    So quit with all the ‘tomato’ can talk. Lets see how how UFC fighters look if they have to fight five, six teams a year instead of TWO.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I have to say, Kenny Rice slept walk through that whole show. Sometimes the commentary sounded like they were in a shed on a wireless. I do like the idea of a panel of experts to talk to during intermissions or what have you.

    But yeah, I enjoyed the show. Is it Pride? No, but it has a similar feeling which is always a good thing. It’s only their third event so they are still ironing out the wrinkles and should only improve from now on.

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  • smoogleton says:

    HDNet could do better with the production but this comes off as a pretty dumb screed against DREAM. Things like your assessment of Uno vs. Ishida as a main event make it sound like you don’t know very much about Japanese MMA.

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  • Talkbets says:

    “I realize I am in the minority when I say that I was hardly impressed by DREAM.3, but then again, I stopped drinking the PRIDE kool-aid the day Zuffa bought the company from Dream Stage Entertainment.”

    “a watered down version of PRIDE. DREAM.3 was a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the promotion.”

    “Sorry folks, the stage setup we saw was not of PRIDE quality. ”

    “And don’t get me started on matchmaking. Yes, I know PRIDE provided its fair share of mis-matches over the years”

    “I actually used to watch PRIDE. I enjoyed PRIDE. As an MMA fan, I grew up with PRIDE. But DREAM sir, you are no PRIDE.”

    You stopped drinking the Pride Kool Aid, but you start and end your article comparing how DREAM isn’t even close to Pride. You didn’t stop drinking the Pride Kool Aid. You want it but no one is giving it to you.

    “I think it’s high-time people start judging DREAM on the merits of DREAM and not on the past accomplishments of PRIDE.”

    I agree. People should. Let’s go compare DREAM to our ideal and perfect MMA organization.

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  • fenrsz says:

    I’m not sure what some people expect from Dream…remember it is just a re-packaged Heroes, and seriously is this not alot better than the previous product? There were some good (and relevant) fights and there’s some even better ones on the horizon, so i really don’t see an issue here.

    Also, Dream is a Japanese product…made for the Japanese…not for MMA fans in the US…try to remember that…

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Things like your assessment of Uno vs. Ishida as a main event make it sound like you don’t know very much about Japanese MMA.”

    Uno vs. Ishida is a good fight in Japan. But it’s not main event caliber for a promotion that is the biggest in Japan right now. Barnett vs. Yoshida was a bigger main event, and that was on a WVR show.

    “Also, Dream is a Japanese product…made for the Japanese…not for MMA fans in the US…try to remember that…”

    I am remembering that, and the ratings in TBS have not been good.

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  • sven says:

    I greatly enjoyed the show and I was never a Pride fanboy.

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  • koolpaw says:

    I have to agree with the original entry of Sam.
    ppl are so easy to forget about bad things. how come they are shouting like crazy ” damn, that was great event!” with only 1 or 2 fights after over 3 hours boring time?

    Yeah, Alvalez vs, Hansen was great. but other fights? seriously i almost fell asleep during … oops.

    As a Sport event, i prefer MFC16`s broadcasting one day b4 of Dream3 on HDnetGiFGTS. it was tight and sick. Didnt know fighters nameson it, but i could enjoy most of fights. Never got bored except semi-… oops.

    Plus the DREAM promotion is pushing Mayhem in wrong way in Japanese. They dont show his that famous, funny and hilarious character. and contrast with hard and agressive fight style with them. They are trying to make Mayhem as like a “Phsycho” “Lunatic” ” Violent” fighter.

    can u believe they are translating the word “Mayhem” to Japanese ” Hakai” which means destruction in English? i know “Mayhem” has several meanings in each contexts but… . i see those guys of DREAM see Japanese are so easy and dumb. They think Japanese fans dont understand other languages, never watch fights at oversea countries, NEVER read English site or MySpace.

    Scr*w them. They havent learned anything from falling down of PRIDE. They are just fishy Businessmen.

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  • Kogepan says:

    Ratings compared to Pride? Pride was an established brand in Japan, Dream is a brand new promotion. No surprise that their first show did less than the normal pride numbers. Plus the whole JZ/aoki fiasco was WELL known before TBS broadcasted the ‘hilights’.

    Maybe try reading mmamanjapan.blogspot.com for a better feeling of how Dream is doing in Japan, instead of making crap up. BTW, they sold out the 22,000 seat arena last night, that doesn’t sound too bad. (especially considering the high ticket prices in Japan as well, VIP $1000usd, reserve seats $300usd, lower bowl $170 usd, upper bowl $70 usd.) UFC 81 couldn’t even sell more than 8000 tickets last time it was in Las Vegas WITH Brock lesnar headlining.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Making crap up? Are the ratings not a disappointment? It’s a fact that ratings for MMA in Japan during primetime are down. That’s a fact. I’m sorry if I offended your sensibilities, but is that an excuse for you trying to argue something that is fact as being made up?

    I’ve followed the Japanese MMA scene long enough to know not to buy into attendance figures as a gauge of success.

    Regardless of whether the event was successful or not, there were a lot of aspects of the show I didn’t enjoy. That’s my opinion. Deal with it.

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  • cyph says:

    How do you sell out a stadium with tons of empty seats? At least paper the stadium before you call it a sell out.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Cyph, good point, I did notice empty seats during the wide shots.

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  • Toto says:

    Sam Caplan’s mouth is full of Dana White’s testicles and Fertita’s dick.

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  • AG Silver says:

    Hey Sam,

    Quick Q. Am I wrong in guessing that your article is based on the 5 hour live broadcast at 3am (EST)?

    I DVR’d the 3.5 hour “Encore presentation” and though some of the flaws you indicated were present (esp. re: Hellboy v Alvarez). However, I think the pace was much better than you seemed to indicate in your write-up (surely due to good editing).

    Keep up the great work. Always a pleasure reading your entries!

    – AG

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  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    Interesting read. Seems like they’re trying to ride the coattails of PRIDE however they can. Or they just don’t know any other way to do it. Without Wandy, Rampage, Dangerous Dan, the Rua’s, the Nogerias, etc., all that’s left is just a bunch of walking punching bags. But I always liked the white mat.

    Since his name was brought up… Kenny Rice doesn’t belong on TV. From Inside MMA, to announcing MMA events, to whatever else he’s done. He sucks.

    He seems like an ok guy, but he is loathsome as a sports announcer. Doesn’t anyone else think so?

    Stephen Quadros was a little goofy sometimes, but he and Bas had good chemistry. Kenny is just creepy. His jokes aren’t funny and when he says stupid stuff that causes those uncomfortable silences on Inside MMA, Bas’s personality, and cutting away to new sections and b-roll are the only things saving him from what would be in the old days a big hook coming in from off-stage, yanking him off by the neck.

    I like Inside MMA, and I like Bas Rutten, but Cubes needs to find someone other than “uncle Fester” as HDNet’s staple MMA announcer.

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  • Toto says:

    MMA SKOOL, stop sucking Bas Rutten’s cock please, there are probably some children here.

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  • yuushi says:

    Kind of glad there are some voices of reason that are seeing beyond the “DREAM IS PRIDE REBORN” and seeing the promotion for what it is. It just isn’t that good so far.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    AG, yes, I watched the live version of the telecast. I would say they might have chopped an hour off on the encore presentation. I think I might wait and watch the encore feed the next time.

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  • NealTaflinger says:

    I’m with Doc Wagner. Commentators in all sports should talk less. They rarely offer anything of value, so shut up and let me watch the fight.

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  • muttly says:

    There really are some well done posts in this comment section. Opinions stated, without personal insults and the like.

    You can easily identify those with too much emotional involvement with DREAM though, and every time I’ve ever made a negative comment about how dream is run, people get up in arms like I insulted their mother.

    I just wish people would take an objective standpoint.

    Has DREAM lived up to the accolades their fanboys have heaped on them? Nope.

    Has DREAM put together all the best matches people want to see? Well, as best they can, maybe.

    Will DREAM get better? One would assume so. It’s too soon to be calling anything by DREAM great. They’ve got potential, and they’re still finding their formula. Can’t people just say the card was great for only their 3rd show? can’t they make a concession that it’s not the greatest thing to happen to mma since JiuJitsu? The cries of greatness are just so disproportionate to their achievments. As disproportionate as the level of emotional fanboy attacks.

    Personally, I like Sam’s writing. He’s one of the more reliable writers in the blogosphere, and even when I disagree with his opinions, I still take them as the opinion of someone who has a more extensive history with mma than I have.

    Why do so manycommenters come across as thinking they know more than the bloggers who make this thier occupation? these guys live and breath mma, not just one organization.

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  • bjjdenver says:

    mmm…kool aid.

    Seriously, I’m drinking it up and it tastes goooooooood!

    Does it bring back feelings of Pride? Of course, but what is wrong with that?

    The theatrics are fun. Better than UFC, but not as over the top as the K1 Dynamite crapfest in LA.

    The fights are good. Sure they don’t have many of the big name UFC American recognized, TUF is the best type of fighters, but they do have legit top guys that most mma fans know of.

    The announcers aren’t bad. Bas is better than Trigg and Rice is pedestrian, but no matter who it is, someone will be bitching about them. And damn, we get the screaming lady back!!

    There is just something about the production style that makes it present mma as a legit, more mainstream sport than what American shows do. Maybe it is because Japan accepts it as such, I don’t know, but I do know it is a good thing.

    I’m not one of the Pride/dream/EXC/Anything is better than the UFC or vice versa guys. It is just great to have more, good mma available to us fans. And to me, different productions, rules, styles and fighting platforms, are a good thing. i don’t love the cage and I don’t love the ring, but I do love the variety.

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  • smoogleton says:

    They sold roughy 22,000 seats, there is no need to paper a 37,000 seat arena when you pulling off a successful show. I talked to someone in Japan and all the indicators suggest this event was something of a hit, with increasing advertising presence, and the papers are reporting it as a return to form for Japanese MMA.

    Nobody is going to argue that HDNet still has a way to go with the live production, but your criticisms of DREAM itself are way off

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  • WARNING.CONTAINS.SPOILERS says:

    You elitist noob.

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  • TygerYG says:

    Dream was as good as it can be at this point. Dream and World.Victory.Road are spawns of Pride. They need time to grow. It’s like the circle of life. I for one Welcome the live broadcast and Bas Rutten’s return. Could their have been better fighters? Yes Gomi and Kid Yamamoto’s entry into the lightwight tournament would have really been Dream like. But give the new fight leagues time to bolster their rosters again. I enjoy the new mma landscape because their is a little bit of Pride all over the world now. As long as good fights and plenty of fights happen I’m all for it. Thanx Sam Caplan for providing a good way to pass time with your informative ariticles

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