UFC Planning Japanese Event for 2011


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Dana White (file photo) announced Thursday that the UFC has its eyes set on Japan. | Photo: Sherdog.com


It appears the UFC will return to the Land of the Rising Sun sooner rather than later.

UFC President Dana White on Thursday revealed that the promotion may hold an event in Japan before year’s end. Little is known about the proposed bill as of yet, but it seems the rumors surrounding the possibility of a Japanese UFC show were valid.

The UFC has not visited Japan since Zuffa purchased the promotion in 2001, though its previous owners, Semaphore Entertainment Group, put on four Japanese events, with the last one being UFC 29 in December 2000.

As the popularity of Japanese MMA has seen a significant decline since Zuffa acquired Pride Fighting Championships in 2007, more of Japan's top fighters have begun to sign with the UFC, including Michihiro Omigawa, Norifumi Yamamoto and Hatsu Hioki. Japan's two largest MMA promotions, Sengoku and Dream, are both undergoing financial struggles. Sengoku has not yet held an event in 2011, while Dream recently held its first show of the year on May 29.

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