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PRIDE Vet Kawajiri Fighting Aldo Teammate in UFC Debut

Tatsuya Kawajiri

Tatsuya Kawajiri has long been regarded as one of Japan’s top fighters, and as many likely expected would be the case, “Crusher’s” been booked for a big test in his UFC debut.

According to a report from Fight Sport Asia, and a follow up story from MMA Junkie, Kawajiri will fight featherweight Hacran Dias. The bout will be part of the UFC’s first trip to Singapore, which will go down January 4th.

Not long after word surfaced that Kawajiri was headed to the UFC, the PRIDE veteran announced he was hoping to fight featherweight contender Cub Swanson. Although Dias isn’t a top ranked contender like Swanson, he is a member of the world renowned Nova Uniao team, which of course also includes UFC champs Jose Aldo and Renan Barao (you may have heard of them).

Dias (21-2-1) has gone 1-1 in the UFC to date, as after defeating Iuri Alcantara by UD last June, the 29 year-old was decisioned by Nik Lentz in May. Dias had won nine straight bouts before facing Lentz at UFC on FX 8.

Kawajiri (32-7-2), meanwhile, is on a five fight win streak. The 35 year-old hasn’t fought since last New Year’s Eve, when he defeated UFC vet Michihrio Omigawa while fighting for DREAM. The powerful grappler has defeated several well accomplished vets during his career, including Joachim Hansen, “JZ” Cavalcante and UFC contender Josh Thomson.

So, that’s definitely an interesting addition to the UFC Fight Night card, which will also feature Jake Ellenberger taking on former Strikeforce welterweight champ Tarec Saffiedine.

Stay tuned to Caged Insider.com for all your UFC news and coverage.

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