Ultimate Fighting Championship is establishing some serious
roots in the Far East.
UFC President Dana White announced late Wednesday night that the
Las Vegas-based promotion has signed a deal with Vale Tudo Japan to
“promote and operate a new tournament series projected to debut
later this year.”
The tournament, which White likened to “The Ultimate Fighter”
reality series, is expected to feature fighters from the
bantamweight and featherweight divisions. The fights will air on
Japanese terrestrial television, according to a release. More
details regarding the agreement will be unveiled when the Octagon
touches down in Japan this September for UFC Fight Night “Hunt vs.
“Much like ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ this series will continue to
cultivate and popularize top talent for us in new markets. The
round-robin tournament concept is going to make for amazing fights,
with a lot at stake," White said. "Every fight will matter, every
performance will count. I am so excited to be back in Japan."
Hosted by the Shooto organization, Vale Tudo Japan debuted in 1994
and ran until 1999. Reunion events were held in 2009, 2012 and
2013. The first two VTJ events were tournaments, both of which were
won by Rickson
The UFC is scheduled to return to Japan on Sept. 20, when Roy Nelson
Hunt in a heavyweight Fight Night headliner at the Saitama