The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Japan for UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson this past February. It marked the promotion’s first event in Japan in more than a decade.
It appears the UFC is ready to return, already planning for another date at the Saitama Super Arena in 2013, according to NikkanSports.com.
MMAWeekly.com sources indicate that March 3 is the date that officials are circling on the calendar.
UFC 144 featured Benson Henderson taking the UFC lightweight championship from Frankie Edgar, reportedly pulling in an estimated attendance of about 20,000 fans in Saitama, Japan.
The Japanese mixed martial arts scene has been under a steady decline since Zuffa, LLC, the UFC’s parent company, acquired the Pride Fighting Championships and eventually shuttered the promotion after unsuccessful attempts to keep it in operation in Japan.
Dream and Sengoku each tried to pick up where Pride left off, but were unsuccessful.
Now, the UFC is making a slow, but concerted effort to continue on in Japan as part of its overall strategy to expand in the Asian market.
Prior to next year’s return to Japan, UFC on Fuel TV 6 is slated for Nov. 10 in Macau, China, and if he heals up in time, Cung Le will be a featured fighter on the Chinese card.
- Benson Henderson
- Frankie Edgar