UFC Fight Night Japan will take place on Sept. 27 at the Saitama Super Arena, headlined by Barnett vs. Nelson.
In addition to the live event, the UFC also confirmed a brand new reality TV show, Road to UFC: Japan, which will follow eight Japanese mixed martial arts hopefuls, who will be competing against each other for the opportunity to win a UFC contract.
The eight athletes will train in both their hometowns and in Las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter Gym under the guidance of coaches Barnett (33-7) and Nelson (21-11). There will be fight match-ups throughout the course of the show, narrowing the contestants down to two finalists.
Road to UFC: Japan will be broadcast in Japan beginning in July, airing weekly, and culminating in the finals at UFC Fight Night Japan in September.
“We are very happy to be bringing our live event to the Saitama Super Arena once again this year,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager, UFC Asia, Ken Berger. “There is a rich and diverse MMA talent in Japan and we’re positive that through Road to UFC: Japan, we will uncover more UFC prospects. We have recently witnessed the fast power of Kyoji Horiguchi in the Octagon against flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and it really is only a matter of time before we see a champion emerge from Japan.”