UFC Set to Return to Japan for Fight Night Event on Sept. 23

By Tristen Critchfield May 16, 2017
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its fifth event in Japan on Sept. 23, the promotion announced Tuesday. The UFC Fight Night card will take place at Saitama Super Arena and will be the third event to be held in the Asia Pacific region in 2017. No bouts were announced.

“Our fervent fan base in Japan is a cornerstone of our success in the region and we are thrilled to bring another action-packed live event to the market this year.” UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content Joe Carr said in a release. “Japan has a rich history in MMA and the traditional martial arts, making it an attractive destination for our athletes.  There is already huge interest from both our athletes and fans surrounding this event.”

The Las Vegas-based promotion last visited Japan for UFC Fight Night 75 on Sept. 26, 2015. That card saw Josh Barnett take a five-round unanimous decision over Roy Nelson in the evening’s headliner. Meanwhile, Uriah Hall scored an unlikely victory over Gegard Mousasi with a flying knee and follow-up punches 25 seconds into round two of their middleweight co-main event.

According to the release, the UFC currently has nearly 40 Asian fighters signed to its roster. However, a notable cut in recent months was former flyweight challenger Kyoji Horiguchi, a Japan native who last competed for Rizin on April 16.

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