Saitama Super Arena is the site of the upcoming UFC show in Japan.
Event Planned for February of 2012
For the first time since UFC 29 in December of 2000, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced this week that it will be returning to Japan on February 26, 2012. Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City will be the location of the major event, marking the first UFC card to be hosted in Japan since Zuffa, LLC, purchased the company in 2001.
“This February, the wait is finally over. The UFC is coming back to Japan,” UFC President Dana White stated. “For fans in Japan who’ve never witnessed a UFC event live, this is going to be an incredible experience and one you won’t want to miss. It’s been over 10 years since a UFC event was held in Japan, and we’re pumped to bring the fastest growing sport in the world there once again.”
The UFC has held a total of four shows in Japan since its creation, and the Land of the Rising Sun served as the home of the highly successful PRIDE FC from 1997 until 2007.
“Japan has played a huge role in helping get the sport of mixed martial arts to where it is today,” White continued. “UFC stars such as Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Minotauro Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop all made names for themselves fighting in PRIDE, and dozens more fought in front of the passionate Japanese fans at some point in their careers.”
White then made mention of a few native Japanese fighters who have left a mark in the sport.
“Japan has also produced world-class fighters such as Yoshihiro Akiyama, Takanori Gomi and Yushin Okami, all of whom have represented their country well in the Octagon, headlining major UFC events all over the globe,” he concluded.
At the time of the announcement, no matches were confirmed, but the UFC is expected to begin unveiling the card over the upcoming months.