Don’t leap to any wild conclusions here, as the future is a window we can only gaze through once the door of the present is closed. But UFC 144 ticket sales have been exceptional, the buzz is stronger for this particular event than most others in recent memory, and diehard fans can’t shake the feeling that this could lead to a revival on the Japanese circuit.
Speaking with MMAjunkie.com, UFC execs gushed over this weekend’s highly anticipated event. President Dana White sounds more than pleased with the buzz surrounding this spectacular card, and he’s not hesitant in the least to express his optimism.
"We tried to come back to Japan earlier than this, but the deal we had put together fell apart. We stayed on it and didn_t abandon coming to Japan. The deal didn_t fall apart this time. We got everything done that we needed to get done to put on an event. All the things that go into bringing a live event to a new territory and not getting smashed financially, we got done." stated White. "I think the event_s already been successful. We_re close to a sellout already, and obviously the card we put together for this event is phenomenal."
UFC Asia executive Mark Fischer also discussed potential annual trips to “The Land of the Rising Sun”.
“I think it_s a little bit wait-and-see but certainly we do feel based on the strength of what we_ve seen so far leading into the event – the buzz, the ticket sales so far – that I think it_s a market we_d love to come back to with a big event at least annually," Fischer said. "Whether or not we complement that with maybe one or two smaller events – perhaps _Fight Nights_ – and we think there_s quite good potential for an _Ultimate Fighter,_ maybe in a slightly different format here.”
UFC 144 isn’t even officially in the books and the future for Japanese fans already looks extremely promising. Here’s hoping this weekend’s action lives up to the tremendous hype it’s stirred thus far.
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