Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The UFC will mark its return to Japan with a FUEL TV show next March as part of a very busy first quarter of 2013.
The UFC has made it clear in the past that they want to make their presence known in the Asian market, and 2012 trips to Macau and Japan definitely suggest they mean business. They'll make their return to Japan in March 2013 as part of UFC on FUEL TV 8,. The news was broken on UFC Tonight.
Just as a reminder, the card will be held on March 3rd in Japan but the time zone difference will mean it airs live on March 2nd in North America. It will be the 2nd FUEL TV card of 2013, as they've already set February 16th as their other confirmed date (and it will also be an international show).
UFC 144 marked the first Japan show since UFC 29 in 2000, and it was a memorable card featuring a thrilling main event between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson. The rest of the main card had great action such as Mark Hunt stopping Cheick Kongo, Tim Boetsch almost causing Joe Rogan to explode on live TV, and Anthony Pettis wiping out Joe Lauzon with a head kick.
Obviously a FUEL billing means they aren't getting a title fight or a card as stacked as UFC 144, but nevertheless its one of three events to be held in as many weeks starting from FUEL 7 on the 16th, UFC 157 on the 23rd, and then FUEL 8 on the 2nd.