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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Dana interested in going to Japan

LAS VEGAS - It has been over eight years since the UFC last visited the "Land of the Rising Sun," but UFC President Dana White made it very clear at the UFC 94 post-event press conference that Japan is still very much a part of the organization's future.

"The Japanese market has always been important to me," White said. "It's a very, very, very tough place to navigate and do business. But, [expletive] 'em. We're going to do it anyway. They will not stop me from going into Japan."

While White didn't mention specific plans for a Japanese event, he did make mention of three high-profile free agents that may be on their way to the UFC.

Tops on the list was K-1 and Shooto veteran Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (17-1).

"I've been a 'Kid' Yamamoto fan for a long time," White said. "I'd love to get him over here."

Yamamoto, who last fought in December 2007, would seem to be a candidate for the WEC based on his normal walking-around weight of around 143 pounds. Currently riding a 14-fight winning streak, including notable victories over Genki Sudo, Caol Uno, Royler Gracie and Jeff Curran, Yamamoto has competed in the 155-pound weight class in previous bouts.

White said Yamamoto has also expressed his interest in making a transition to the U.S.

"There's two fights left on [Yamamoto's] K-1 contract, and he told me his dream is to end his career over here with us," White said. "So I'd like to see it happen."

White also mentioned 33-year-old UFC veteran Uno (25-11-4) and 22-year-old Olympic gold medalist judoka Satoshi Ishii (0-0) as possible Japanese imports.

"Caol Uno, I love him," White said. "He'll always be a part of the UFC. And yeah, we're talking to him, too. And Ishii also."

Uno has consistently faced the world's best fighters in his 12-year career. The UFC, K-1 and Shooto veteran has earned wins over Mitsuhiro Ishida, Ivan Menjivar, Rich Clementi, Din Thomas, Yves Edwards, Fabiano Iha, Rumina Sato, Dennis Hallman and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, among others.

Uno compiled a 3-3-1 record in the UFC from 2001-2003, including an infamous draw with current lightweight champion B.J. Penn at UFC 41.

Ishii is a heavyweight currently looking to make his MMA debut. The judoka earned a gold medal in the +100 kg (over 220 pounds) at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Very interesting. I hope he can sign some of these guys because the UFC really never signs good japanese fighters. I'd love for Kid and Uno to fight in the WEC/UFC.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 04:33 PM
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so thats why we saw those three at 94.Signing them would be a really good move if the UFC plans to do shows in japan again
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 04:47 PM
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Actually the Kid part is really interesting to me because I highly doubt they would do a WEC show in Japan soooooooooooo that could mean my dream of collapsing the LW, FW, and BW divisions into the UFC could become a reality...IF they sign Kid.

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