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UFC headed to Land of the Rising Sun in February

After more than a decade away from the fight-friendly confines of the Far East the UFC has announced it will once again journey to Japan as the promotion did for a show in December 2000.

According to official statements from UFC President Dana White and Zuffa’s area-head Mark Fischer, the Octagon will show up in the PRIDE/DREAM stomping ground of Saitama Super Arena on February 26 with the intent to fill the historic arena with at least 20,000 fans.

(Quinton) ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, (Antonio Rodrigo) “Minotauro” Nogueira all made names for themselves fighting in the PRIDE organization and dozens more fought in front of the passionate Japanese fans at some point in their careers,” White said in a prepared message for media. “Japan has also produced world class fighters such as (Yoshihiro) Akiyama, (Takanori) Gomi, and Yushin Okami. They have all headlined major UFC events all over the world. Now, this February, the wait is finally over – we’re coming back to Japan.”

Akiyama and Nogueira have already expressed interest in a spot on the card with other popular Asian fighters on the UFC’s roster like Dong Hyun Kim, Hatsu Hioki, and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto also seemingly locks for the show if health allows.

UFC 29 marked the last time the UFC visited Japan. To give some perspective on the event and how much things have changed, Chuck Liddell fought Jeff Monson and Dennis Hallman beat the pants off of Matt Hughes.

The announced show will be the second time in six months the organization will have returned to the birthplace of many of MMA’s disciplines after a long break between stops with the first involving last month’s epic event in Rio de Janeiro.


  • fanoftna33 says:

    I cant wait to see who they get for this card, Saitama super arena is huge so I bet the headliner is awesome- say GSP vs Silva?

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  • Rece Rock says:

    If they ever sign him this would be a good card for Overeem to make his debut… he has a following over there and he’s Dreams HW champ & K-1 GP champ so that prob holds some weight over there.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Niv says:

    Very exciting, how about Pride rules? I know it won’t happen but man that would be awesome.

    I had to look this up as I thought the mma record for attendance was in this stadium but it isn’t. Tokyo National Stadium holds the mma attendance record of over 91,000 for Pride Shockwave in 2002.

    Either way I expect a sold out 37,000 at Saitama, I hope this is a great card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    If all they want is attendance I’ve got three words for the UFC, Hunt vs. Sapp.

    and Wanderlei should probably fight on the card too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • adamsfamily says:

    I reckon they will put on a who’s who of old pride faces vs top young up and comers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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