December of 2000 was the last time the UFC hosted a show in Japan. Late Monday night, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization announced they would finally make their return to the Land of the Rising Sun on February 26th, 2012.
The highly-anticipated event is scheduled to take place inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The spacious stadium can hold anywhere between 19,000-22,500 seats for a MMA promotion.
The card is still several months out, so no bouts were reported. However, countless UFC superstars made their claim to fame in Pride Fighting Championships many moons ago and have been clamoring for years for an opportunity to get back to the Orient.
PrideFC was the most popular and successful mixed martial arts company to originate from Japan. “Shockwave” took place at the Tokyo National Stadium in August 2002 and set a world MMA attendance record with 91,107 fans present.
The company was eventually acquired by Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, in March of 2007. Pride subsequently closed their doors shortly after the purchase, which allowed icons like Wanderlei Silva (Pictured), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Dan Henderson and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to take their talents to the Octagon.
This will mark the UFC’s fifth trip to Japan.