The UFC touches down in Singapore for the first time on Saturday, and the card – UFC Fight Night 34 – will be broadcast entirely on UFC Fight Pass starting at 6:30am EST. Headlined by a matchup between Strikeforce standout Tarec Saffiedine and South Korean slugger Hyun Gyu Lim, the roster includes a ton of names that may or may not ring any bells with viewers… which, traditionally, isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the “unknowns” tend to fight like their lives depend on it. So what bouts are especially worth paying attention to? I’m glad you asked…
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Saffiedine was the last Strikeforce welterweight champ ever, and when he sets foot into the Octagon on Saturday, he aims to answer a lot of questions – such as, how does Tarec Saffiedine stack up against UFC-level competition and where does he stand in relation to the now-vacant 170-pound title? Saffiedine is a Belgian fighter with ace striking skills, and training at Team Quest has made his game complete.
Then there’s Lim. Since the UFC’s expansion to the four corners of the globe, an influx of fighters have South Korea have given the Octagon some definite international flavor. And while Lim certainly is no Korean Zombie when it comes to accomplishments and popularity, he is undefeated in the UFC and prone to knocking foes out.
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano
Although the Japanese MMA scene is a shadow of its former self, a few stars have risen to the top over the past few years, and Kawajiri is one of them. He was a Shooto champ, and PRIDE FC and DREAM veteran, and though he’s fallen short against the upper echelon of competition (i.e., Gilbert Melendez, Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki), his well-rounded game has seen him victorious in many a war. His opponent is an Octagon newcomer named Sean Soriano, and given their disparate resumes, expect Kawajiri to clobber.
Max Holloway vs. Will Chope
Two things are true about Holloway: he tends to lose to top-level competition – such as Conor McGregor, Dennis Bermudez and Dustin Poirier – and win or lose, the dude goes out banging. The latter fact makes him fun to watch for sure, and since his opponent at UFC Fight Night 34 is an Octagon rookie, expect Holloway to deliver a beating. Like Soriano, Chope is a UFC rookie, so the home field advantage – and the win – should go to Holloway easily.
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern
All eyes may be on promotional newcomer Tatsuya Kawajiri and what that Japanese superstar may be bringing to the table, but another Japanese fighter making his UFC debut on Saturday is Kikuno – and of the two, Kikuno is the more dynamic striker. Maybe this comes from his accomplished Kyokushin Karate background, and maybe it’s just his attitude, but Kikuno is definitely one to watch.
The full fight card is below.
- Tarec Saffiedine vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
- Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Sean Soriano
- Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Luiz Dutra
- Kyung-Ho Kang vs. Shunichi Shimizu
- Max Holloway vs. Will Chope
- Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern
- Royston Wee vs. Dave Galera
- Mairbek Taisumov vs. Tae Hyun Bang
- Dustin Kimura vs. Jon Delos Reyes
- Leandro Issa vs. Russell Doane