Two respected MMA media outlets are reporting that Frankie Edgar will cross the Pacific to defend his title next February when the UFC returns to Japan. And word is UFC on FOX 1’s Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida will likely determine his opponent. From MMA Junkie:
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from multiple sources close to the promotion that the winner of the Guida vs. Henderson matchup is expected to receive an immediate title shot against current lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC).
While an exact date for the fight with Edgar would certainly depend on the condition of the Guida vs. Henderson winner, multiple sources suggested the UFC’s planned February event in Japan is the preferred destination. The organization, which hasn’t promoted a show in the country since UFC 29 in late 2000, heads to Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Feb. 26, 2012.
The UFC hasn’t confirmed this news yet, however MMA Weekly is reporting the same thing so chances are there’s some truth to it.
The match-up isn’t much of a surprise, but I don’t think anyone expected the UFC would bring Frankie Edgar over to headline their return to Japan. Most expected one of the former PRIDE stars like Rampage Jackson or Shogun Rua to get that honor. They at least have some semblance of drawing power over there whereas Frankie Edgar is only some American UFC champ they barely know to what’s left of the Japanese fanbase. I’m not gonna lie, I’m struggling to figure out what the UFC’s reasoning is behind the decision if it does in fact pan out.