UFC eyes Japan event in early 2012

July 5, 2011

MMA Weekly reports that the UFC is heading to Japan for an event tentatively set for the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama. The UFC hasn’t traveled to Japan since 2000.

Via MMA Weekly:

While the venue has been reserved by agencies working with Zuffa in Japan, this (Saitama Super Arena) is still just the preliminary location they are focusing on for a return to Japan. Other venues and locations are being looked at, but Saitama Super Arena is currently the most likely landing spot.

Dana White mentioned that the UFC would be heading to Japan sooner than later and it looks like it is happening next year. A hurdle that White must address is whether the UFC will work with local Japan promoters. An issue that White has acknowledged is a problem.

Payout Perpsective:

Brazil this year, Japan next year. The UFC holding events in these countries makes sense on many levels. Its a sign of the globalization of the UFC and for Japan, the beginning of market penetration into Asia. Its been well-documented that the state of MMA promotion in Japan is in disarray. Strikeforce’s (before Zuffa) ill-fated attempt at having a show in Japan demonstrated some of the risk associated with promoting a card in the country. Pre-merger it was argued that Strikeforce had a better chance of promoting an event than the UFC. The UFC inked media deals in January which should help with reach in the Japan market. It will be interesting how the card shapes up post-merger. If Yushin Okami defeats Anderson Silva in August, a rematch or title defense in Japan would be perfect to draw interest.

One Response to “UFC eyes Japan event in early 2012”

  1. BrainSmasher on July 5th, 2011 7:29 PM

    Hopefully they avoid the corruption that has kept them out of Japan and caused them to shut down Pride.

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