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Denis Kang signs four-fight contract with the UFC

Former PRIDE middleweight competitor Denis Kang has signed a four fight contract, American Top Team officials revealed Monday.

“Denis has always expressed a desire to fight in the UFC and we are very happy he will finally get the chance to showcase his skills to a whole new audience of fans,” an ATT official said in a statement released to the Underground forum. “He will be a great addition to the 185 pound division!”

Kang, 31-10-1, at one point was ranked as a top ten middleweight by all of the major rankings polls in existence. The former PRIDE superstar earned a reputation as one of the best in the world with notable victories over Andrei Semenov, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Amar Suloev, and Akihiro Gono.

However, after suffering three losses over the span of four fights, Kang’s reputation as a world class fighter began to suffer. Following a unanimous decision loss to Kazuo Misakiat PRIDE Bushido 13, Kang defeated Jung Gyu Choi via unanimous decision in South Korea while competing for the Spirit MC promotion.

The Canadian native of half-Korean heritage then suffered back-to-back losses while competing for K-1 HERO’s and DREAM.

Considered the favorite against Yoshihiro Akiyama going into a highly-anticipated K-1 HERO’s bout in Korea last October, Kang was knocked out in dramatic fashion at 4:45 of round 1. He returned to the ring in his debut for DREAM at DREAM 2 this past April, losing to eventual DREAM middleweight Grand Prix champion Gegard Mousasi via triangle choke submission at 3:10 of round 1.

Kang became a free agent following the loss to Mousasi and has gone 2-0 since that time, with his most recent win coming against former UFC veteran Marvin Eastman. Competing for the Raw Combat promotion in Canada on Oct. 25, Kang recorded a first round TKO over Eastman just 48 seconds into the fight.

The 31-year old has tremendous upside and with a few high-profile victories, Kang could find himself in the thick of the UFC middleweight title picture.

22 COMMENTS
  • Imbecile says:

    Good for the UFC, and good for Denis Kang.

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  • Robert says:

    This is great news Kang will be an instant contender in the division and it will set up some great match ups in the future.Anderson Silva vs. Denis Kang sounds a lot better than Silva vs. Bisping.

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  • Patrick says:

    Awesome.

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  • mclark10828@llcc.edu says:

    Good for Kang I’d like to see him fight Bisping first….hopefully at ufc 93 Ireland…very marketable fight for the ufc

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  • Jeremy says:

    Excellent news!!! I think the time had come for Kang to fight in the UFC. I think other options out there weren’t going to be as financially lucrative as the UFC could be for him down the road. Some might have offered better deals for the hear and now, but the long-road is where the UFC usually wins out. Granted Kang has to perform well to reach that level. Here is to hoping it works out for both sides.

    Seems like the UFC might eventually make a strong push into the Korean market with Kang, Dong Hyun Kim and with them rumored to be involved with Akiyama.

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  • brett says:

    ITS ABOUT TIME!

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  • Rictor says:

    Korea is FEG’s territory plus they would never let UFC get one of their major stars in Akiyama.

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  • Scott says:

    Could Jason MacDonald or Ed Herman please report to the front gate, there is someone there to see you!

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  • Alvis says:

    he should be put straight to work against Bisping in Dublin n January

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  • dpk says:

    UFC will love this guy, they can market him in Canada, and South Korea, and on top of it all, he can really fight. I would expect that the next new country for UFC will be Korea.

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  • truth says:

    Just hope he starts seeing GSP’s sports psychologist. So talented, but he defeats himself sometimes.

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  • mclark10828@llcc.edu says:

    Well ”truth”, Kang’s fiance died of a cocaine overdose 2 weeks before Denis fought Akiyama….I guess they dated since they were 15.

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  • Stan the Caddy says:

    Shelby Walker died in late 2006. Kang’s fight vs. Akiyama was in October of 2007.

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  • Davey D says:

    This is awesome. Glad we’ll finally get to see Denis in the UFC. He’ll bring Everlast to the forefront of MMA gear along with the leaders like Tapout, Sprawl, etc. I hope we get to see Kang vs. Silva within one year.

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  • Robert says:

    Yeah “Stan the Caddy” I think maybe the guy was thinking she died not long before Bushido 13 not the Akiyama fight and I heard it was an overdose of painkillers not cocaine.

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  • the Levi says:

    Not that exciting in my opinion , he is a litle over rated.

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  • mclark10828@llcc.edu says:

    yup i was wrong painkillers overdose…..http://www.google.com/firefox?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

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  • truth says:

    Not knocking Kang, I really like him. His recent losses are to top level people. I’d love to see Misaki vs Anderson Silva.

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  • Muta says:

    The four fights I’d like to see:
    1) Bisping
    and then when he wins that
    2) Rich Franklin
    and after he wins that
    3) Dan Henderson
    and if he wins that
    4) Anderson Silva

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  • Rich S. says:

    well this is just great news..

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    The dude loses to Misaki, Akiyama, and Mousasi and he’s suddenly no good?

    And Rictor, I heard that Akiyama and FEG aren’t exactly friendly right now…

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  • mclark10828@llcc.edu says:

    Yea no shit Sergio all 3 of those losses were to top 10 world mw…the Misaki fight was SD and could have gone either way.

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