As the UFC makes its return to the Saitama Super Arena this weekend, some of the company's prominent stars shared some of their past experiences since the last time the UFC made a trip to Japan for UFC 25 and UFC 29.
Competing on that was former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who headlined the event against Wanderlei Silva.
Ortiz recalled his bout with Silva and said the atmosphere was different from fighting on his home soil in the United States. But the biggest difference to Ortiz was the Japanese crowd.
“You can literally hear a pin drop in between rounds,” Ortiz told ESPN.com. "There, everything was so quiet. I could hear my elbows bust off Wanderlei Silva’s face [at UFC 25].”
Ortiz would defeat the Brazilian to capture the 205 pound crown on that night, and would eventually go on to cement his legacy as one of the greatest light heavyweight champion's of all-time.
Now, over 12 years later, the Japanese fans will get another chance to witness another monumental event in UFC 144, which will be headlined a lightweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson.
Ortiz also spoke on how the lifestyle might have an affect on some fighters, especially trying to adapt to the culture.
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" said he wasn't too keen on Japanese cuisine at the time, but he said some of the food can be beneficial to a fighter's health, especially when trying to prepare your body prior to the event.
“A lot of fighters may think they don’t want to eat sushi or Japanese food after they weigh in. I’d remind them that’s an option," he said. "My weight got back up to where I wanted it to be, and my energy was through the roof -- I think because the food was so clean."
UFC 144 is scheduled for this weekend, live from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.
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