TORONTO — The UFC has confirmed its return to Japan with Frankie (The Answer) Edgar defending his lightweight title against former WEC title-holder Ben Henderson at UFC Japan — or UFC 144 — on Feb. 26 at Saitama, Japan.
The show is the first for the UFC in Asia since Zuffa Inc. bought the mixed martial arts organization in 2001.
Also on the main card at Saitama Super Arena in suburban Tokyo, former light-heavyweight champion Quinton (Rampage) Jackson faces Ryan (Darth) Bader, heavyweight Mark Hunt takes on Cheick Kongo, Japanese welterweight Yoshihiro Akiyama tackles Jake Shields and lightweight Anthony (Showtime) Pettis fights Joe Lauzon.
UFC 144 marks the sixth anniversary to the day that Jackson, then competing in Pride, last fought in Japan.
On the undercard, it’s Yushin Okami versus Tim Boetsch, Takanori Gomi versus George Sotiropoulos, Hatsu Hioki versus Bart Palaszewski, Kid Yamamoto versus Vaughan Lee, Riki Fukuda versus Steve Cantwell, Takeya Mizugaki versus Chris Cariaso and Leonard Garcia versus Tiequan Zhang.
The UFC’s last show in Japan was UFC 29 in December 2000.