WSOF targets March-April debut in Japan with PANCRASE


World Series of Fighting is targeting a co-promotional debut with Pancrase in late March to early April in 2014. Pancrase will institute the use of a cage for the collaboration.

WSOF boss Ray Sefo confirmed on Wednesday’s WSOF 7 conference call that their Japan market entrance would likely be in late March or early April of next year. As previously reported, it will be in conjunction with Japan MMA lynchpin Pancrase, the promotion that celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2013.

The collaboration will see ripples of changes through both promotions. Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai will implement the WSOF-style decagonal cage for all Pancrase numbered events (which are now up to a stellar 254). Pancrase fighters will be eligible for WSOF events, and vice versa.

Pancrase’s 2014 calendar has already been set, and it includes an end of March event and a May event, which will begin the use of the cage, post-WSOF soiree. The PANCRASE 258 World Slam Tournament will be on March 30, and #259 takes place on May 11, leaving a gap in April that would fill smartly with the WSOF debut.

Japan is not the only market expansion for the USA-based promotion. It is aggressively expanding into global markets. Sefo stated, “We just signed a deal with Australia and New Zealand, they are going to do like six shows. Canada will be about the same thing.”

While it is not known if the Japan event will be a part of the promotion’s NBC broadcast for the major audience of North America, it is possible that live streaming will be available internationally. Sefo stated, “Of course they won’t all be on the mother ship, meaning they won’t all be on NBC. I believe those that aren’t would be streamed live.”