According to mfight.co.kr, a Korean Combat sport site, DREAM’s 1st venture into Korea has been put on hold. It reports that there were 2 major obstacles to overcome that prevented the show from taking place. 1 was the lack of star power on the show since both Denis Kang and Hong Man Choi would be unavailable to participate. Obviously there were concerns for attendance since both men are MMA stars in Korea. The 2nd problem was the upcoming expiration of FEG’s contract with XTM, which has rights to televise K-1 and DREAM shows in Korea.
Personally, I’m not too surprised this went down considering that it’s true that there is no real star power on the card. As much as I love Dong Sik-Yoon I couldn’t fathom him headlining. HERO’S trip to Seoul in 2005 proved fairly good. The show itself was nearly unwatchable in my opinion. The show had a lot of relatively unknown Korean fighters getting squashed by foreign competition. To this day I haven’t met anyone who’s actually seen that show other than me, which speaks volumes about the quality. Maybe FEG burned all the tapes? That show actually did have something very important that DREAM.14 lacked. Choo Sung-Hoon AKA Yoshihiro Akiyama. Love him or hate him as they do in Japan, the man is revered in Korea. He and a few others, like Gesias Calvancante, Caol Uno, Hideo Tokoro, and Norifumi Yamamato, were the reason anyone in their right mind would actually watch HERO’S.
Akiyama’s star power in Japan was unquestionable. He was easily the most watched fight in any show he competed in, whether it be HERO’S or DREAM. Realistically, the averages for the shows weren’t even close. During Akiyama’s fights, rating would sometimes increase by 3 to 4 points then drop back to their average. His performance at Seoul HERO’S was fairly good as he summoned his inner Remigijus Morkevicius and escape an armbar via slam and eventually pounded his opponent to a TKO. More significantly, I guess, it came against a Japanese opponent. If you ever get a chance to watch the Seoul HERO’S show, don’t. DREAM and FEG are yet to announce any finite details but I would expect something in the days to come.