UFC next weekend in Japan: Wand to collide with Stann, Hunt against Struve! (VIDEO)
On March 3, the UFC returns to the Land of the Rising Sun, so be sure not to miss an excellent UFC on Fuel event headlined by legendary Brazilian Wanderlei Silva and American fighter Brian Stann. You can watch the program from Saitama Super Arena from 4:00 a.m. (CET) on Fight Channel!
After a very successful trip to Japan last year, the American promotion returns to one of MMA's homelands. Same city, same venue, as well as several of the same people that were in the starring roles last year in Tokyo.
Considering the huge popularity that "The Axe Murderer" has enjoyed ever since the time of Pride, it's small wonder that the veteran of this sport is the poster face of this UFC on Fuel event. On the opposite side will be US marine and also long-standing UFC fighter Brian Stann. Since he joined the world's strongest MMA promotion, Wanderlei has had only three wins and five losses, and every new stumble might mean his final goodbye to active career. This is supported by the news of a mass clear-out in the American promotion, recently announced by UFC president Dana White. It wouldn't be wrong to say the Silva faces a "life or death battle", that is to say, a fight that will determine what happens to his career.
Stann hasn't been doing much better lately either. Just when he got closer to the top of the division with a winning run, he stumbled upon nasty Sonnen who sent him back to square one. In 2012, he had one win and one defeat, the former against Sakara, the latter against Bisping. Another wrong step and this soldier could meet a landmine in his UFC career, despite his popularity.
Stefan Struve has four, while Mark Hunt has three consecutive wins. The winner of their duel, which will be the co-main event in Tokyo, should rise almost to the very top of the heavyweight division, knocking on number one contender's door.
Unfortunately, in his last match Struve knocked out Stipe Miočić, robbing the Croatian of his ticket to Tokyo. His previous victims were Johnson, Herman and Barry – all by TKO in the first or second round. The Super Samoan's run is just a bit less convincing: in his last three fights he vanquished Tuchscherer, Rothwell and Kongo. No heavyweight fan can afford to miss this clash of the UFC giants in Japan.
To accommodate for all fans' tastes, the UFC management included no less than six fights on the main card, which guarantees almost 4 hours of top MMA entertainment.
In addition to the above two main bouts, we will see a middleweight clash that could determine the next number one contender. The home crowd's favorite Okami will face dangerous Cuban Hector Lombard, and if former Bellator star wins, there is no doubt that the UFC would promote him into the new title contender in the division up to 84 kg.
The battle between Takanori Gomi and Diego Sanchez promises plenty of attractive moves and an uncompromising brawl as we are accustomed to seeing from these two, while the main card also includes the Hirota vs. Yahya and Kim vs. Bahadurzada matchups.
UFC on Fuel: Silva vs. Stann
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
Takanori Gomi vs. Diego Sanchez
Yushin Okami vs. Hector Lombard
Mizuto Hirota vs. Rani Yahya
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Riki Fukuda vs. Brad Tavares
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Bryan Carway
Cristiano Marcello vs. Kazuki Tokudome
Alex Caceres vs. Kyun Ho Kang
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Hyun Gyu Lim