After the UFC bought Pride there was no major MMA company in Japan. Now after 12 years the UFC returns to “The Land of the Rising Sun.” This card features a Lightweight Championship fight, the return of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Mark Hunt to Japan. The event takes place Saturday Feb 25th, in Tokyo, Japan at 10 P.M. ET. It has now been announced the PPV will last 4 hours instead of the normal 3, and there will be 7 main card fights instead of 5. I recommend getting together with your friends and buying this card.

Frankie Edgar vs Ben Henderson
Lightweight Championship

Edgar finally fights someone not named B.J. Penn or Gray Manard. In Edgar’s last two fights(both against Manard) he proved that he can take a punch or two and survive when most fighters would be done. In Henderson’s last fight he proved he has the cardio to keep up with the stamina of Clay Guida. Henderson also showed that he is very versitale and comfortable either standing up or going to the ground. I’ll give Henderson a slight edge in takedowns, and I think he is better both submitting people and defending submission attempts by his opponent. Edgar has some advantages in striking and has a better chin. I’m going to pick Edgar because he has 4 straight title fights, 3 of them while being the champ.

Rampage Jackson

Rampage Jackson vs Ryan Bader

Both guys have been big names for at least a few years now. Rampage has had a long career a lot of it fighting in Japan where he is a huge star. The crowd will be pro-Rampage and Rampage will want to win in his return to Japan. He actually begged the UFC to put him on this card. I think Bader will try to take this fight to the ground and avoid Rampage’s hard hitting right hand. The key for Bader to win is to takedown Rampage and keep him on the ground while landing punches and elbows. If he can’t take Rampage down then Bader needs to keep moving around and try to wear Rampage out. Rampage can win this fight if he throws more kicks and can use his dirty boxing to work on Bader and then use his Haymaker of a right hand to knock Bader down/out. Rampage has decent to good takedown defense. I’ll go with Rampage and his heart will be the deciding factor.

Mark Hunt vs Cheick Kongo

This is a fight I’m really looking forward to. Both fighters always have exciting fights and both of them don’t mind standing and trading blows if that is the way the fight is going. Mark Hunt is a former K-1 Kickboxing champion and is known for incredible power. He is also good at takedowns and submissions. He is a very well rounded fighter which is rare in the heavyweight division. Kongo on the other hand has been involved in some instant classics. His fight against Pat Barry saw Barry have Kongo on the verge of being knocked out twice in one round. One of those times it looked like he was out on his feet, but he managed to get off one of his very powerful right hands and knockout Barry. Kongo is always in amazing shape for any fighter. I’m going to go with Mark Hunt for this fight. But, I promise you this. This has a chance to be the fight of the night, maybe fight of the year.

Jake Shields

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Jake Shields

This is going to be a fight that Akiyama needs to keep standing. If Shields gets it to the fight and has top control then he will do his best to smother Akiyama and land punches while looking for a submission. Akiyama is a dangerous fighter in is own right when the fight goes to the ground. Akiyama has a big advantage to longer this fight stays standing. Akiyama will also be fighting in his home country for the first time in the UFC and will have the crowd behind him. I’m going to say Akiyama keeps the fight standing and wins in his home country.

Yushin Okami vs Tim Boetsch

Again Okami is another fighter that is finally getting a chance to fight in his home country for the first time while a UFC fighter. Okami has great ground and pound and pretty good strength. He is a well rounded fighter, so he is comfortable anywhere this fight goes. Boetsch is an excellent wrestler and has a great chin. Boetsch will most likely look to control this fight from the clinch and when the opening is there he will look to take it to the ground. This is a great matchup as both guys will and can fight anyway it goes.