With the UFC returning to Japan for the first time since UFC 29 in December 2000, UFC 144 will be featuring an extended main card on pay-per-view, along with a full preliminary card on both FX and Facebook. UFC 144 begins around 7:30 on Facebook with the first preliminary card matchup. The event will then move to FX with four more preliminary fights at 8. Then the pay-per-view event will begin at the regularly scheduled time of 10 PM EST.
The entire preliminary card will feature a fighter from Japan in each matchup. Former PRIDE Lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and longtime Shooto and Dream bantamweight Kid Yamamoto will both be featured on the prelims, with both fighting on FX.
The pay-per-view event will begin at 10 PM EST, with the fights actually occurring early Sunday morning locally in Japan due to the time difference. With seven bouts scheduled, the pay-per-view event will take place over four hours as opposed to the usually scheduled three hour events.
The card is headlined by a UFC lightweight championship fight between champion Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson. Also featured on the main card will be former PRIDE stars in Japan in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Mark Hunt.
Local Japanese stars Yoshihiro Akiyama, Yushin Okami, and Hatsu Hioki will also be fighting on the main card.
MAIN CARD (PPV)
- Frankie Edgar (c) vs. Ben Henderson
UFC Lightweight Championship
- Quitnon “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
- Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
- Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
- Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis
- Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
- Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
- Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Vaughn Lee
- Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
- Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
- Tiequan Zhang vs. Issei Tamura
For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.com