World Series of Fighting launches its new Japanese division in a partnership with the long-running and highly respected Pancrase organization, a Tokyo-based group that has promoted mixed martial arts events since 1993 and is widely considered one of the most historically important organizations in the sport.
"Japan has long been a home of top-level martial arts competitions of all types, and I personally have enjoyed some of the best moments of my fighting career there," World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said. "I'm excited to announce this new division with the launch of World Series of Fighting Japan.
"I look forward to working with Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai and his team, and together we will produce amazing events for the Japanese fight fans, as well as big opportunities for both Asia-based fighters and MMA fighters around the globe."
The first World Series of Fighting Japan event is expected to take place in early 2014. The relationship will allow fighters from both sides of the Pacific Ocean to be featured in fight cards in both the U.S. and Japan, including recent World Series of Fighting addition Yushin Okami (29-8), one of the world's top-ranked middleweights.
The launch of World Series of Fighting Japan marks the second international branch of the WSOF brand to be announced in the past month alone, as World Series of Fighting Canada is set for a Dec. 7 debut. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.