Japanese striker Mizuto Hirota has decided to dip down to featherweight for a fight in the UFC, agreeing to action against Rani Yahya on March 2 when the organization heads to Saitama, Japan for UFC on Fuel 8. The stop marks the UFC’s first Far East stop of 2013 and is headlined by what should be a slugfest between Wanderlei Silva-Brian Stann.
UFC officials confirmed the match-up earlier today in addition to a tilt between welterweights Marcelo Guimares-Hyun Gyu Lim.
Though his last fight came under the Strikeforce banner, chances are the UFC imported Hirota for his ties to the region rather than his involvement with the soon-to-be-defunct organization. He has racked up a 14-5 record during his run in the ring with eight knockouts including those over Satoru Kitaoka and Mitsuhiro Ishida.
The 17-7 Yahya’s noted grappling ability should pose an interesting challenge for his adversary come showtime. Among the 15 opponents Yahya has tapped out are the likes of Mark Hominick, Yoshiro Maeda, Josh Grispi, and Eddie Wineland.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC