Article

UFC Returns to Japan with World-Class Matchups

Light Heavyweight Main Event
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann

Plus:
Stefan ‘Skyscraper’ Struve vs. Mark Hunt
Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez
Dong-Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Former PRIDE® middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva will step into the Octagon against top contender and decorated U.S. Marine Brian Stann in a five-round, light heavyweight bout on Sunday, March 3 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship® returns to Japan’s Saitama Super Arena.

Brazilian fighter Silva, nicknamed “The Axe Murderer,” is known for his aggressive fighting style with the majority of his fights ending in knockout or referee stoppage due to strikes. He holds the records for the most wins, knockouts, title defenses, and longest winning streak in PRIDE FC history.  This will be Silva’s first fight in Japan since 2006.  Stann, born at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, owns a Silver Star for combat in the Marine Corps.  The veteran has already accomplished some impressive feats like winning a WEC title and defeating Chris Leben, Jorge Santiago and Alessio Sakara.

In the co-main event, contenders Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve and Mark Hunt face off for a critical battle for supremacy in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Making his long awaited Japan debut, Struve, the tallest fighter in UFC history at seven foot, has won four in a row, with two Submission of the Night and one Fight of the Night awards.  Hunt has long been one of the most popular fighters ever to compete in Japan because of his warrior spirit and knockout power. Hunt is on a three-fight winning streak and fought at UFC 144 in Japan in February 2012 winning via knockout over Cheick Kongo.

The main card also features local hero and former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez at lightweight, and Korea’s Dong-Hyun Kim vs. knockout specialist Siyar Bahadurzada in a contest of up-and-coming welterweights.  

“We’re delighted to bring a world-class card with a distinctly local flavor back to Japan,” noted UFC Managing Director Mark Fischer.  “This exciting mix of former Pride champions, contenders from various weight divisions, and up-and-coming stars from the region is sure to entertain all our fans here – whether old or new to the sport.”

Other fights announced today include Japan’s own Riki Fukuda facing off against Brad Tavares at middleweight, Japanese bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki vs Bryan Caraway, and the UFC debut of two Koreans, welterweight Hyun Gyu Lim and bantamweight Kyung Ho Kang, taking on Marcelo Guimaraes and Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres, respectively.

Also making his debut is Japan’s Kazuki Tokudome who will take on Cristiano Marcello in a lightweight matchup.  

Tickets for UFC® JAPAN 2013 are on sale to UFC Japan Fan Club members now at http://www.ufcjapanfanclub.jp and are priced at JPY 100,000 (VIP), 34,000 (RS), 19,000 (SS), 9,800 (S) and 5,800 (A). UFC Japan Fan Club http://www.ufcjapanfanclub.jp and the membership fee will be priced at JPY 6,000.  Additionally, tickets are on-sale now through Lawson convenient stores located throughout Japan, and these can be purchased by visiting a local Lawson location in person or via www.L-tike.com.

Regular on-sale date for the general public is currently targeted for mid-January.UFC Mobile subscribers and users of Ticket Board, an online ticketing site focused on major entertainment and sports, will have the opportunity to purchase tickets through http://ufcm.jp/pc/index.html and http://tickebo.jp respectively. Readers of E-Plus, a play-guide publication circulated at 8,649 Family Mart convenience stores in Japan, may purchase tickets on Friday, Dec. 21 online at http://eplus.jp/sys/web/sports/battle/index.html.

UFC® JAPAN 2013 will air live on numerous UFC broadcast partners in Japan and globally, as well as FUEL TV in North America on Saturday, March 3.

All bouts live and subject to change.

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