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UFC announces nearly 20,000 tickets sold for UFC Japan

Because MMA fans are neurotic hyper-ventilators, we were all concerned that the UFC’s return to Japan would be met with indifference – whatever the hell ‘meh’ is in Japanese. But all those fears seem to have been for naught, because:

While the doors have yet to open for this weekend’s “UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson” event, company officials are already declaring the event a ticket-selling success.

UFC officials today told ( that ticket sales are still moving briskly for this weekend’s event at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and the fight card is expected to sell-out all of the nearly 20,000 available seats.

Furthermore, UFC officials are so encouraged by the buzz surrounding UFC 143 that plans for a return to Japan are already under consideration, and multiple annual visits – as well as a version of “The Ultimate Fighter” – are also possible.

There were a lot of concerns that the UFC wouldn’t be able to fill the venue they had chosen. It’s called Saitama Super Arena for a reason: it can hold up to 37,000 people in it’s cavernous maw. Add in the fact that the UFC decided to try and pull a timezone fast one and hold the event at 10AM so they could still air it live at 10pm for us gaijin and it all added up to some serious questions on how this event would do.

But the numbers the UFC announced sound pretty sweet: nearly 20,000 tickets sold. That’s up and above what any of the local promoters are pulling nowadays and impossible to look at as anything other than a rousing success. As for the big talk of returns to Japan and TUF editions … well, we’ve heard that before from the UFC after it rolls into town and strikes up a roMMAnce with the locals. “Oh yeah baby this is totally going to be a regular thing, we’re gonna see each other all the time!” A year from now when there hasn’t been another show and Japan will start to realize it’s no more special than Omaha to the UFC machine.

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    A year from now when there hasn’t been another show and Japan will start to realize it’s no more special than Omaha to the UFC machine.

    This sounds like Zuffa’s following the DENNIS system.

    Now, Zach at FO suggests that 15k of those are bought by Dentsu, so – if anything – I’m interested in how many Japanese peeps actually show up to this.  But I’m not even really sweating that.  Peoples are making too big a deal about how one show goes down.

    The only thing about it that really interests me outside of the actual fights are how the wake of this show will affect the local scene.  Usually the UFC goes somewhere with a small or budding scene and then amps it up, Whereas the Nippon scene has already been hugnormous, and has gone flaccid.  The difference in aftermath might be interesting.

  • bakapoki says:

    If the UFC could not get 20,000 people in for the show when greater Tokyo population is 35 million people, it would have been pretty pathetic.

    Also, Zach at FO is a fool and I actually live in Tokyo and work for a living in the business world, which makes me a genius. There is nothing wrong with the UFC’s television situation here. If you subscribe to WOWOW (probably the most common satellite TV service in the country) for $30 or so a month, you get premium movies AND all the UFC PPVs played on the same day in full HD with Japanese commentary. No, they aren’t on network TV, but basically you can get all the PPVs and Ultimate Fighter included in what is sort of the equivalent to subscribing to Showtime.

    So there you have it… TV shows, movies, tentacle porn, and UFC PPVs in one package for $30 a month = win. Zach at FO = fail.

  • iamphoenix says:

    so how is zach at fo a fail? tickets bought is not ppvs and television viewers…

    but good job living in japan.

  • bakapoki says:

    Zach at FO is fail for characterizing UFC’s TV coverage as “The Bad” just because it doesn’t have a major network free TV broadcast deal.

    UFC PPVs and TUF is easily accessed anywhere in the country by subscribing to that channel mentioned earlier in a Japanese localized format – which is equivalent or better than what UFC had in the US until the Fox deal. Being on TV Tokyo for free (regardless of whether or not it’s nationwide) can also be seen as a good positive step.

  • DJ ThunderElbows says:

    You should post this info over here.  Show that Arnold what’s up.  He’s all focused on free TV stuff.

  • frickshun says:

    The question would not be how low the entry barrier is but what the subscription rate is for that particular cable package. I refuse to fork over $12 a month for Showtime even though they have good shows & Strikefartz. But if I didn’t have Fuel, I’d probably pay that for the fights!!!!!!!

    I don’t have a point after all.