As hardcore MMA fans know, holding a fight card in Japan comes with plenty of challenges. The biggest hurdle to clear is the time difference. Watching DREAM and Sengoku on HDNet, fans are usually subjected to 3 a.m. ET starts and a finish around 6 a.m.
According to USA Today, the UFC didn't want to do that plus it would kill pay-per-view buys so the promotion came up with a solution of extending the PPV portion to four hours and seven fights.
The downside? That means the main event between UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson won't start until 1 a.m. ET.
Rather than ask the audience in Japan to show up at an unusually early time for a sports event, UFC opted to shorten the preliminary card and lengthen the pay-per-view portion instead, said Anthony Evans, a spokesman for Zuffa.
The Saitama fight card will feature these fights on the PPV portion:
Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson
Ryan Bader vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo
Yoshihiro "Sexyama" Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis
Tim Boetsch vs. Yushin Okami
Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski