The UFC returns to Japan for the first time in over a year with UFC on FUEL TV 8. Six fights makeup the main card, which will be broadcasted on FUEL TV. The card airs this Sunday, March 3, and comes from the Saitama Super Arena. FightLine will be providing the play-by-play.
Welterweight: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
The main card opens with Dong Hyun Kim looking to get back in title contention. After taking out several names, Kim was stopped by top ranked welterweights Demian Maia and Carlos Condit. Siyar Bahadurzada had finished his last six fights before making his UFC debut just about a year ago. He took Knockout of the Night after only 42 seconds against Paulo Thiago.
Featherweight: Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya
The only featherweight fight on the card sees Mizuto Hirota make his first trip inside the Octagon and comes in after a decision loss to Pat Healy in Strikeforce. His last three fights have gone to a decision. After ending his WEC career with a pair of losses, Rani Yahya made the drop from bantamweight. He’s 2-2 under the UFC name and took a first round submission over the summer.
Middleweight: Yushin Okami vs. Hector Lombard
Yushin Okami has racked up several wins and holds a disqualification victory to Anderson Silva. After suffering his first back-to-back losses, he has rebounded with two wins. After becoming the Bellator middleweight champion and earning eight wins for them, Hector Lombard left for the UFC. He took a close loss to Tim Boetsch, before bouncing back with a first round KO.
Lightweight: Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez
After a 1-3 start for the UFC, Takanori Gomi has two wins since that stretch. He earned Fight of the Night in November over Mac Danzig in a split-decision. Diego Sanchez, a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, has struggled as of late. He spent his last four fights as welterweight and went 2-2. He has picked up Fight of the Night three straight times and will look to do it once again.
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
After six straight losses, which included one fight in the UFC, Mark Hunt is back on track with three wins. He will have been away from actin for over a year when he returns this Sunday. Stefan Struve has four wins since his last defeat in 2011. He took three honors in those recent appearances and all but one of his 30 fights has been stopped. This fight was supposed to happen in May, though was cancelled when Hunt suffered an injury.
Light Heavyweight: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Wanderlei Silva makes his return to Japan, the country he made a name for himself during his PRIDE years. After a great career start, Silva has seen better days going 3-7 since 2006. He suffered his second loss to Rich Franklin over the summer. Brian Stann comes in off key losses to top middleweights Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping. The former WEC light heavyweight champion won’t be the fan favorite, but is 6-3 since he joined the UFC. He was 1-1 last year and has stopped most of his recent fights within two rounds.