UFC President Dana White officially announced this week at a press conference in Japan that the UFC has signed a partnership with Vale Tudo Japan for a new tournament series set to premiere later this year. Through the partnership, the UFC is aiming to find new talent in Japan and allow fighters to compete to get a UFC contract.
The new show will feature a tournament with bantamweight (135 lbs) and featherweight (145 lbs) fighters. The show will air on Japanese terrestrial TV. The winner of the inaugural Vale Tudo Japan series will earn a UFC contract.
Speaking on the show, White stated, “Much like The Ultimate Fighter, this series will continue to cultivate and popularize top talent for us in new markets. The round-robin tournament concept is going to make for amazing fights, with a lot at stake. Every fight will matter, every performance will count. I am so excited to be back in Japan.”
More details on the show will be released in September when UFC is set to hold UFC Fight Night 52 in Japan. The fight card will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson on September 20 and will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.