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Tag: UFC Japan 2012

UFC 144 Aftermath Part I: Playing to the Crowd

If you’re only going to do one thing, make sure you do it well. (Photo: Getty Images/UFC.com)

It would be an understatement to call the UFC’s return to Japan triumphant. We could point to the bevy of exciting finishes as proof enough, but last night’s action seemed to go beyond that. More important to the evening’s success was the way the competitors fought. Surrounded by fans that appreciate the “bushido spirit” above all else, the fighters let it all hang out and battled their way through adversity. The Japanese prefer an entertaining performance over a cautious victory, and from the opening bout to the final bell of the evening, they got their money’s worth.

The final four combatants weren’t able to match the undercard’s highlight-reel stoppages, but the fighters knew the stakes and, to the best of their abilities, showed up to wow the fans.

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Sotiropoulos Out, Mitsuoka In Against Takanori Gomi at UFC 144


Eiji Mitsuoka looks to make it three straight against “The Fireball Kid”

As first reported by MMAWeekly.com, George Sotiropoulos has pulled out of his upcoming bout against Takanori Gomi due to an undisclosed injury. With one month to go until UFC 144, it is likely that thirty six year old UFC newcomer Eiji Mitsuoka will now be fighting against Takanori Gomi. The UFC has yet to confirm the rumored matchup.

Don’t start screaming “squash fight!” just yet. Eiji Mitsuoka is 18-7-2 in his MMA career, with eleven of his victories coming by submission. Considering that six of Gomi’s eight losses have been by submissions, things should get interesting if Mitsuoka can get Gomi to the ground. The PRIDE veteran also holds notable victories over Joachim Hansen, Gleison Tibau and Rodrigo Damm. Mitsuoka’s most recent performance has been a unanimous decision over Bruno Carvalho at Dream: Japan GP Final on July 16, 2011. Videos available after the jump.

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Takanori Gomi vs. George Sotiropoulos Added to UFC 144 in Japan


(Gomi Head approves of this matchup. Props: Dallas Winston.)

Takanori Gomi‘s run in the UFC has resulted in an underwhelming 1-3 record, marked by submission losses to Kenny Florian, Clay Guida, and Nate Diaz. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the UFC is giving the Fireball Kid one more try in front of his home country’s fans — or at least the ones who will be dragging ass to the Saitama Super Arena early enough to catch the prelims.

The UFC has confirmed that Gomi will return at UFC 144 on February 26th, against Aussie grappling specialist George Sotiropoulos, who’s also had a rough go of it lately. After going 7-0 in the Octagon following his stint on TUF 6, Sotiropoulos is now riding back-to-back losses against Dennis Siver and Rafael Dos Anjos. In other words, jobs could be on the line here.

Gomi vs. GSots brings the UFC 144 card up to 12 star-studded fights, including the lightweight title headliner between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson, and bouts featuring Quinton Jackson, Cheick Kongo, Jake Shields, Joe Lauzon, and Yushin Okami. Check out the current lineup after the jump, before injuries blow it all to hell.

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Sadly, Brian Stann Will Not Be Fighting Minowaman in Japan


(And here we have some lovely fan art of Minowaman doing battle with Godzilla and Ghidorah, while a rocket blasts out of his crotch. / Props: mma-core)

So this is weird: Coming off his submission loss to Chael Sonnen last month, Brian Stann was briefly under the impression that he’d be getting a rebound fight against a mulleted giant-killer in the Land of the Rising Sun. As Stann told MMA Sucka (tip via MiddleEasy):

I thought I was fighting on the UFC card in Tokyo. I thought I was going to fight a gentleman by the name of Ikuhisa Minowa or ‘Minowaman’ and unfortunately, you know, the fight didn’t happen. He actually asked to fight me. I agreed and then for some reason it just didn’t materialize…From what I was told by the UFC, I think they already filled the main card for that one, so there’s not really any room for me anymore.”

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Report: Guida vs. Henderson Winner to Challenge Frankie Edgar in Japan

Clay Guida eating wings UFC
(Fun fact: Clay Guida has never owned a single piece of silverware.)

According to a new report from MMA Junkie, the UFC plans to give the winner of tomorrow night’s UFC on FOX bout between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson a title shot against lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Sources indicate that the fight would likely take place at UFC 144 (February 26; Saitama, Japan).

Unfortunately, Guida vs. Henderson won’t be part of the “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos” TV broadcast — which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on FOX — but viewers can watch it as part of the undercard stream on Facebook and FOXSports.com. Currently, Henderson (-250) is a strong favorite over Guida (+236).

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UFC Japan Goes PPV, Double-Header Plans Scrapped


(I can already hear her voice, caressing me like a newborn and telling me that everything will be OK.) 

When Dana White first announced that the UFC planned to hold both a live event in Japan and Las Vegas on the same night, many of us sat back and scratched our heads, wondering what in the hell “The Baldfather” was hoping to achieve with such a maneuver and more importantly, how he would pull it off. When we found out we would be treated to a free Japan card followed by a Vegas PPV card, most of us rejoiced, but still found ourselves doubting the likelihood of such a exorbitant event actually coming to fruition. Well, we hate to say we told you so, but as it turns out, you won’t have to roll out of bed at 10 a.m. to catch the free Japan card. Matter of fact, you won’t be getting a free card at all.

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UFC Japan will Air Live before PPV in Las Vegas

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Dana White breaks the news around the six minute mark. Props to NBCsports.com for the video.

When the news first broke that the UFC was going to hold an event in Japan on the same day as an event in Las Vegas in 2012, many of us were confused as to how this was going to work. Some of us pictured a Flintstones-esque scenario where Dana White and Burt Watson frantically try to be in two places at once, leading to various shenanigans. Even though specifics are still up in the air at this point, last night Dana White cleared the air a bit with how the UFC intends on handling the situation.

According to Dana White, the UFC event in Japan will take place on February 26, while the PPV card in Las Vegas will take place on February 25. Due to time zone differences, the plan is that the UFC Japan card will air live for free (presumably on Fox) immediately before the PPV broadcast in Las Vegas. So for those of you who guessed that that was going to happen, feel free to gloat in the comments section.

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UFC Japan Show Will Be Counter-Programmed By UFC Las Vegas Show


(Sources inform us that the Octagon Girls for the UFC Japan show will be Chandella Powell, Rachelle Leah, and Hard Gay.)

So this is kinda weird. According to a new Yahoo! report, the UFC is planning to double-book themselves on the night of their February 26th return to Japan:

“When we go to Japan next year, we are going to be putting on a show at the same time in Las Vegas,” [Dana White] said…When asked how the company was going to handle a dual-show evening from a television standpoint, White just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

Keep in mind that “you’ll see” may be code for “I have no fucking clue at this point.”

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UFC Announces Return to Japan on February 26th, 2012

UFC Japan Japanese fighters 2012 Kid Yamamoto Yushin Okami Yoshihiro Akiyama Takeya Mizugaki
(“…In situations that the Planeteers cannot resolve alone, they can combine their powers to summon ‘Prime Sakuraba‘, a magical entity who possesses all of their powers magnified.” / Photo via BloodyElbow)

The UFC held a press conference earlier today in Tokyo, formally announcing their plans to host an event at the Saitama Super Arena on February 26th, 2012. No matchups were announced, but Japanese stars including Yushin Okami, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Takanori Gomi, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Hatsu Hioki, and Michihiro Omigawa were all mentioned as likely participants. Former PRIDE stars like Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Quinton Jackson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are also possibilities.

Though the UFC held four events in Japan from 1997-2000, this will be the first Japanese show organized by the UFC while under Zuffa ownership. The prelims will begin at 10 a.m. local time (with the main card starting at noon) so that the event can be broadcast live at the usual time slot for North American viewers. It’s not clear yet whether UFC Japan 2012 will be a pay-per-view or “Fight Night” card, and no details were given regarding the event’s local broadcast plans.

Following a recorded video message from Dana White at the press conference, Zuffa LLC Asia Executive Vice President and Managing Director Mark Fischer addressed the media in attendance, saying:

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