For a lot of you, the name Sadaharu Tanikawa might not be familiar. That’s probably for a good reason. Tanikawa was a pro wrestling and fighting reporter in the 90’s who forged close ties with K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii. When Ishii was forced to step away from K-1 due to his money laundering issues, K-1’s fate was left in the hands of Tanikawa. Tanikawa helped to form FEG, which then ran K-1, Dynamite, HERO*s and later helped to run the DREAM brand as well.
Needless to say, Tanikawa was an important guy in the lexicon that is Japanese fighting sports. After the fall of FEG, Tanikawa took a step back and turned to the internet, where he mainly went back to writing and tried his hand at crowdfunding fighting events. He also helped to produce GLORY’s latest outing in Japan and has reportedly had his hands involved in some Chinese San Da promotions.
His latest venture is kind of crazy and is everything wacky and weird about Japan but it just might work.
It’s called Ganryujima and it sounds insane.
The rules explained at the press conference in Tokyo are that it will be a MMA fighting, but without submissions. The matches will be held in a flat circle, similar to sumo, with no ring or a cage. Punching will be allowed on the ground. Wrestling is allowed, but submissions are eliminated. There will be quick stand-ups from lack of punching on the ground, as the ground work will be allowed only if their is an attempt to finish the fight.
Oh yeah, and the ring will be surrounded by water. Fun, right? It’s being backed by Fujii TV, whom were formerly the ones who were funding K-1 during Tanikawa’s reign. This means that if this test run goes well this could blow up big time. It is expected that this promotion will focus on a lot more of the freakshow kind of stuff that we grew used to on Dynamite events. That means the Andy Ogles, Bob Sapps and Akebonos of the world can expect gainful employment soon. [source]