Here today, Baragon tomorrow.
Zuffa has confirmed reports of its long-anticipated return to Japanese television after signing a new two-year contract with WOWOW, Japan's premiere commercial satellite television broadcaster since 1991.
WOWOW was home to more than 50 UFC shows from 2001 to 2007 and boasts a viewership of more than 2.4 million.
Starting with UFC 89: Bisping vs. Leben, WOWOW will continue to telecast all upcoming UFC pay-per-view events on a short delay, with most or all beginning at 12 Midnight JST.
From UFC President Dana White:
"The Japanese market has always been important to the UFC, and we want to bring MMA and all of its biggest stars back to Japan. We are thrilled to be back with WOWOW."
Whether or not this new agreement is in conjunction with a rumored Japanese invasion at some point in 2009 remains to be seen.
While on the surface a UFC presence may appear detrimental to struggling promotions like DREAM and Sengoku, it could actually be of benefit if the UFC events are able to stimulate a renewed interest in mixed martial arts.
Who knows, maybe it even gets us one step closer to signing Japanese stars like Takanori Gomi and Kid Yamamoto.