Today in Japan there were horrific scenes as an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the 6th most powerful in recorded history, ripped through the North Eastern part of the country, triggering a devastating tsunami.
Our thoughts and best wishes are of course extended to all the people of Japan in this trying time, but for the purpose of this site we’ll be homing in on how it has effected the mixed martial arts community.
The good news is that at this early stage there’s been no reports of any MMA fighters being hurt, and several have reported that they are alive and well despite having been caught up in this natural disaster.
Female MMA fighter Roxanne Modaferri, who lives and works in Tokyo, describes being in a supermarket when the quake struck, but thankfully she was able to escape unharmed, only to witness to what must have been a mind-boggling scene.
“I look up and see antenae waving back and forth wildly, and I SEE THE FREAKING 7 STORY BUILDING SWAYING compared to the one next to it!! It was so scary! The building was moving!” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Former UFC and PRIDE fighter Enson Inoue says he was over 300km from the epicenter of the earthquake and yet he had trouble standing in his home when it struck. Later he heard one of his neighbors calling for help, and ended up helping a child out from a fallen bookcase.
Lightweight fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri managed to keep a sense of humor in this trying time when he tweeted that he and his family were OK, but that, “The earthquake was strong than Melendez.” Kawajiri is set to fight Gilbert Melendez for the 155lb title in Strikeforce next month.
MMA reporter Daniel Herbertson lives in Tokyo and was sleeping at home after a 24 flight when the quake struck, and ran out into the street in his underwear. He’s since been keeping people updated on the situation on Twitter, and has also been able to confirm that Japanese promotions like Jewels and Shooto have canceled their events in the wake of the tragedy.
Incidentally, mere hours before the incident took place it should be noted that major Japanese promotion Sengoku revealed that it had lost it’s primary sponsor, and all but admitted that it’s days are now numbered. That’s not overly surprising given that there’s been somewhat of an exodus from the promotion recently, with the likes of Jorge Santiago heading to the UFC and Marlon Sandro to Bellator.
Sherdog reporter Tony Loiseleur was also in Tokyo at the time, and in fact had been on Twitter discussing MMA matters in Japan when the violent tremors began.
“The ground is still shaking as I type. Old ladies outside are freaking out. This is one of the biggest EQs I’ve experienced so far in JPN,” he wrote.
Luckily, apart from some tipped over furniture he and his partner also emerged without injury.
Other big name fighters who have been accounted for include the UFC’s Yoshihiro Akiyama, DREAM’s Shinya Aoki and Bellator’s Megumi Fuji.