A lightweight matchup has been added to the UFC 144 event set to take place in Japan between top lightweight, George Sotiropoulos and Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi.
UFC officials announced the addition to the card during today’s pre-fight press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Ballroom in Tokyo, Japan.
“UFC 144: Japan” is set to go down on February 26 live from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. As of current date, the event is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Benson Henderson. The event marks the UFC’s first ever return to Japan since UFC 29 in 2000.
After starting his UFC career on an impressive 7-0 run, the Australian born George Sotiropoulos has dropped his last two fights. First was the big upset at the hands of Dennis Siver at UFC 127 than he took his second loss at the hands of Rafael dos Anjos via first round knockout at UFC 132. These two losses halted all talks of title contention for the fighter who at the time of his first defeat was thought to be one fight away from a title shot.
Gomi finds himself in what is believed to be a do or die situation. The Japanese legend made his UFC debut in March of 2010 and to date has only been able to notch one victory in his four UFC contests. After an unsuccessful debut against Kenny Florian, “The Fireball Kid” bounced back from defeat by knocking out Tyson Griffin at UFC On Versus 1. Not one to take an easy road, his next two fights where losses against Clay Guida and Nate Diaz respectively.
The bout is expected to be featured on the preliminary portion of the card.
The latest UFC 144 lineup looks as follows:
MAIN CARD: (Pay-per-view)
• Champ Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson (for lightweight title)
• Ryan Bader vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
• Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
• Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
• Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis
• Tim Boetsch vs. Yushin Okami
• Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda
• Vaughan Lee vs. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto
• Chris Cariaso vs. Takeya Mizugaki
• Takanori Gomi vs. George Sotiropoulos
• Hatsu Hioki and Bart Palaszewski
• Leonard Garcia vs. Tiequan Zhang
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