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UFC 137: Hatsu Hioki Vs. George Roop

The following is from our live coverage of UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz. To access our full coverage, click here.

The first fight on pay-per-view will take place in the featherweight division and will feature the debut of Japanese top-ranked fighter Hatsu Hioki. Josh Rosenthal will be the third man in the cage.

Round 1: Roop denies the glove touch. Hioki smacks Roop with a quick head kick. Roop lands a solid right hand. Roop with two kicks, he’s sticking his punches well too. Hioki gets tagged low and the action pauses. Roop apologizes and they get back to it. Hioki catches a kick and dumps Roop into the fence, landing a right hand as Roop moves away. Hioki ties Roop up and they fight for control against the fence. Hioki fights for the takedown but Roop avoids and turns him briefly. They go back and forth, turning each other into the cage. Hioki landing good knees to the body. He fails on a takedown. Hioki takes Roop’s back standing. Roop uses two-on-one hand control and defends the position; they keep to the fence though. Hioki lands a nice takedown and gets directly into side control. Roop tries to explode out of it, but Hioki forces him back down. Roop lands nice elbows from his back, using the offense to get to his feet. Hioki tries to stay on him but Roop makes space and goes on the attack. They tie up before the bell.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Roop

Round 2: Roop with an inside leg kick. Roop is using his range well, keeping Hioki on the outside. Roop tags Hioki on a counter combination. Roop moves forward but misses with a volley of strikes. Roop goes to the body with a right hand. Roop glances a head kick off of Hioki’s dome. Hioki ties him up and takes him down when he overcommits, landing directly into full mount. Roop doing his best to escape, but Hioki moves into side control. Hioki moves back into ful mount. Hioki posturing up, but Roop threatens to escape. Hioki holding the position well, but he’s having a hard time getting off more offense. Roop makes space and gets Hioki off of him. He tags Hioki with an upkick and goes after him until the bell, backing him up the whole time.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hioki

Round 3: Roop immediately goes for and gets the takedown. Hioki springs to his feet quickly. Roop tries for a flying knee. Hioki shoots for the takedown and Roop sprawls. They end up against the cage, with Hioki keeping Roop’s back on the wall. Roop turns Hioki and gets off a few knees. Roop pressing Hioki into the fence. They separate, but not for long. A bleeding Roop takes Hioki to the mat easily and pins his head against the fence. Hioki lands a few short, illegal upkicks while Roop’s knees are on the mat. Hioki doing his best to threaten from his back, but Roop is defending and keeping him pinned.

FightLine score the round 10-9 for Roop

Hatsu Hioki defeated George Roop via unanimous decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

The crowd boos the decision, Hioki says that Roop is very tough and stronger than he expected. “Even though we are in a tough situation, Japanese MMA is not dead. It’s time to change.”