I've been a huge fan of the sport for the better part of two decades, and was recently re-watching Hoost vs. Lebanner in the 1999 K1 GP Final. The stadium was PACKED and the atmosphere looked electric. This was before any sort of social media, so the enthusiasm and love for the sport seemed organic. When I first started following the sport seriously in the early 2000s, the NYE shows between K1 and Pride would be massive events, often the highest rated programs on Japanese television (I remember reading the overnight PBP when @OYO used to cover the events live). Bob Sapp became a cross over sensation, and MMA fighters were endorsing every day products the same way that Tiger Woods or Roger Federer do now. Then in 2007, Pride got caught up in some sort of scandal with the Yakuza, and lost their television deal. Somehow this tanked the entire MMA/K1 scene - I don't think I have seen anything analogous happen in any other country, or for any other sport. It's like it was a momentary fad, and the Japanese public collectively moved on seemingly overnight. For any of those who lived in the country, or are familiar with the story, could you shed some light on how everything unraveled? It seems kind of crazy to think you can go from selling out the Tokyo Dome, to having ONE FC and Ryzen become the biggest local players (no offense to them, but they are minor leagues compared to peak Pride/K1). Many thanks for any insight anyone can offer.