World Victory Road's Future In JeopardyLess than two years after rising from the ashes of Pride Fighting Championships, World Victory Road and its “Sengoku” events may soon come to an end after the promotion’s main sponsor, Japanese retail giant Don Quijote, withdrew its financial support and joined with rival MMA promotion DREAM.

Recently rebranded “Sengoku Raiden Championship,” the promotion had developed a cult following through eleven events and was expected to go head-to-head with DREAM on New Year’s Eve.

Speculation has already begun as to what will happen if World Victory Road closes its doors, with rumours that a merger between Sengoku and FEG-owned rival DREAM may be imminent.

A brief statement from an FEG representative stated that the company was interested in growing and promoting Japanese MMA and would consider a partnership with the former WVR.

While many fighters would be left without a promotion to compete for should WVR fold, there are positives that could stem from such a result as Japan could, for the first time in many years, have one dominant MMA promotion rather than two competing factions.


While PRIDE is regarded as the top MMA promotion in Japanese history – if not the world – it faced stiff competition from K-1 Dynamite!! and HERO’s events throughout much of the decade.

Dream Stage Entertainment, the parent company of PRIDE, battled with K-1 parent company Fight and Entertainment Group in a similar fashion to the rivalry that developed between FEG and WVR after PRIDE’s closure in 2007.

With WVR gone, DREAM will become the single most prominent and dominant mixed martial arts promotion in Japan and could, potentially, surpass the success of PRIDE if it continues to grow and showcase blockbuster fights.


World Victory Road’s future had come into question on numerous occasions in recent months due to low ratings and an inability to draw large crowds at events, despite showcasing some of the top current and future Japanese stars.

With the loss of the considerable support from Don Quijote, which has previously been involved with other promotions in Japan, WVR’s fate hangs perilously in the balance.


Fans have already begun to speculate as to which “superfights” could be set up following a WVR/DREAM merger, but nothing has been officially confirmed.

Mid-card fighters may no longer receive the same opportunities to compete on the big stage that they have recently, but unification title fights, especially with DREAM’s growing partnership with Strikeforce, could set 2010 as the best year for MMA to date.


Time and time again, promotions have emerged around the world and aimed to become real competition for the UFC, but that true competition may finally return after nearly three years of the UFC running a “one-horse race.”

A WVR/DREAM merger, coupled with a partnership with the rapidly expanding Strikeforce, will force the Ultimate Fighting Championship to step up its game considerably.