ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: UFC President Dana White speaks with the media after a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
For all the negative Nancys who didn't expect a main event featuring Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson to pull any kind of respectable numbers, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has news for you.
UFC 144 is a sell out.
The Las Vegas fight boss will bring the Octagon to the Saitama Super Arena this Saturday night (Feb. 25, 2012), for a live pay-per-view (PPV) event that also features former PRIDE FC stars Quinton Jackson, Mark Hunt and Takanori Gomi, as well as K-1 "Hero's" Yoshihiro Akiyama and Norifumi Yamamoto.
White breaks down the numbers to Kimura.se:
"We were gonna come here earlier. We had a deal in place but everything fell apart. Now, here we are. We got this one worked out. We got it figured out, came in, sold this event out and I'm excited. We're looking at 22,000 (capacity), so when we sell 20,000 and there's 2,000 tickets left, we consider that a sell-out. What's today, Thursday? We still got three days before the event happens (Sunday in Japan). The Saitama Super Arena is where all the big mixed martial arts fights have happened. It's the place to go. We're coming back to Japan again, Rampage could be fighting here again."
PRIDE FC, the last bastion for Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, was acquired by ZUFFA back in 2007. Since that time, the UFC has planned a return to the "Land of the Rising Sun," but faced obstacles along the way.
Hear White detail the long journey back to Japan, after the jump.
For more on UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson" click here.