UFC went to Japan Feb this year after a very long time. UFC 144 exceeded expectation resulting 4 small shows scheduled in Japan for 2013. Plans of connecting to the Japanese audience and producing new stars is to set motion. Fighter’s Only Mag reports:
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“The UFC is reportedly considering the creation of a Japanese ‘mini series’ that would be used to develop talent in the region and introduce them to the Japanese audience.
Four smaller-scale shows per year would form the series, with name fighters in the headline slot and newer talent underneath them.
That’s according to the UFC Managing Director of Asian Operations, Mark Fischer, who says that Japan can be considered “the home of the martial arts” and thus deserves to hold events on a regular basis.
Japanese MMA was once a thriving scene with 60,000 people regularly packing into the Saitama Arena for the Pride FC mega-events.
But went Pride FC went under it presaged the end of the Japanese MMA boom and since then both DREAM and Sengoku – purported successors to Pride FC – have gone under.
The UFC is different however, being a perceived American sports export and thus standing on different merits than homegrown Japanese events. As such it draws its own fan base and does not rely on the somewhat faddish Japanese general public in order to be financially viable.”