The UFC made a return to Brazil last month.
Now, the organization is set to showcase their talents in Japan, as UFC officials announced a return to the Land of the Rising Sun on February 26, 2012.
It has been 14 years since the UFC put on a show in Japan, who helped develop the sport and produced some of the biggest names including Dan Henderson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
“We want to let everyone know that we will be bringing the same high level of UFC competition, the same world class show and presentation, and great fights and the greatest athletes in the world to Japan,” Zuffa LLC Asia Executive Vice President and Managing Director Mark Fischer said. “To give another idea of the scope of this event, it will literally be witnessed by millions of fans all over the world. Moreover, this event will be a boom for Japan’s economy.
“Let me also say that while UFC Japan in 2012 will be the first event for Zuffa in Asia, it certainly won’t be the last. We hope to make UFC Japan an annual fixture on our calendar and we also have plans to follow-up with a series of high quality events across Asia.”
The UFC had Dana White deliver the message of UFC Japan in a recorded video in a press conference at Shinjuku Wald 9 Theater on Tuesday – the same locale used to screen UFC Live and Fight Night events on the big screen.
UFC Japan will likely be held at the Saitama Super Arena, which is the usual home for Dream events and the now-defunct PRIDE. It will be scaled to hold 20,000 seats.
The UFC last held an event in Japan in 1997, holding a heavyweight tournament which saw the UFC debuts of Kazushi Sakuraba and Frank Shamrock.