It was announced during World Series Of Fighting: Burkman vs Carl that the promotion will be holding an event in Japan with Pancrase sometime in early 2014. The company has already registered a domain in Japan for the expansion although it contains no information at this time.
Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai met with WSOF President Ray Sefo and shook hands on a deal that will see the Japanese promotion aid in the arrival. In his statement on Facebook, Sakai said the agreement includes Pancrase fighters’ participation, global expansion, partnership, and Japan antitrust agreement. He stated the partnership with WSOF fits the new “Global Standard” platform he has implemented since becoming Pancrase head, and it will see Pancrase fighters gain recognition and opportunities in overseas markets.
WSOF has a three-year broadcast deal with NBC Sports, a major North American television broadcaster. It uses the “Unified Rules” and a ten-sided cage for its events. Expansion plans other than North and South America currently include Japan and China.
Steve Carl became the first titled Champion of the organization on October 26, 2013 at welterweight when he defeated Josh Burkman. Currently Asian fighter representation on the roster is thin; Yushin Okami has signed with the promotion, as has Asain-American Tyson Nam. However, Asian MMA aficionados will recognize WSOF fighters JZ Cavalcante, Gregor and Igor Gracie.