While UFC 144 is still a few months away, the promotion is wasting no time building the brand the Land of the Rising Sun.
It’s been over a decade since the UFC has visited Japan, but they’ll go back there in 2012 and a title fight will headline the card.
UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is currently in Japan to do a promotional tour for the next few days to start the ball rolling for his next title defense against former WEC champion Benson Henderson.
Edgar along with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta are in Japan, as well as co-headliners Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and his opponent Ryan Bader.
The last show the UFC had in Japan in 2000 featured a light heavyweight title fight between Tito Ortiz and Yuki Kondo. Ortiz won the fight by submission to retain the belt.
Now UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will look to duplicate Ortiz’s success while he attempts to successfully defend his title for the third time in a row.
Edgar, Jackson, Bader and Fertitta will hold a press conference in Japan and do other promotional items while in the country and then head back to the United States mid-week.
Edgar’s title challenger Benson Henderson was actually in Korea this past weekend spending time with the troops as a part of the UFC’s new relationship with Fox. Henderson spent Thanksgiving with the troops overseas, along with Fox commentator Jay Glazer.
Once the fighters return home from Japan, they will all likely get back into training as they prepare for their second trip there in Feb 2012.
UFC 144 takes place on Feb 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.