A few familiar faces will be making their returns this September, as UFC looks to put on its biggest Fight Pass show ever.
As UFC President Dana White, Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt tour Asia in order to promote the September UFC Fight Night Japan show, as well as the UFC/Vale Tudo deal, the company announced that several Japanese legends will be featured on the show, including a few that haven’t been seen in over a year.
Yoshihiro Akiyama, who hasn’t fought in well over two years, will return at the September 20 UFC Fight Night show from Japan. Many speculated that Akiyama had retired due to his extended absence. Prior to his hiatus, Akiyama lost four consecutive fights, with the lone UFC fight that he won being a controversial split decision over Alan Belcher.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, once considered among the best bantamweights of all time has had a less than successful foray into American MMA, as he lost all three of his UFC fights. However, the company announced Yamamoto will return from his currently 28-month absence to compete at the UFC Fight Night show in Japan as well. Yamamoto has only won one fight since 2007.
Takanori Gomi, who most recently defeated Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC 172 in April will also be on the card. The former PRIDE lightweight champion has won three of his last four fights, with his only loss being a close split decision to Diego Sanchez in 2013. After that bout, Gomi was out of the cage for over a year before returning.
None of the fighters booked currently have opponents, but barring injury, will be booked on the show, which looks to be one of the most loaded UFC Fight Pass shows to date.