After submitting Alex Caceres at UFC 175 on July 5, No. 2-ranked UFC bantamweight Urijah Faber was looking to fight at UFC 177 from his hometown of Sacramento, California on August 30.
A rib injury unfortunately prevented “The California Kid” from making a quick turnaround. But we won’t have to wait too much longer to see him back in action, as Fight Sport Asia (via FOX Sports) has reported that Faber will face Japanese star Masanori Kanehara at September 20’s UFC Fight Night 52 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Faber will look to extend his insane record in non-title fights, of which he’s won an incredible 30 straight. “The California Kid” was rumored to be facing a bigger star in Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, but he apparently had an injury of his own.
Having never fought inside the Octagon, Kanehara recently saw a six-fight win streak disappear when he threw Toshiaki Kitada out of the ring to lose a bizarre disqualification at Deep 66: Impact on April 29.
“Kincyan” has also fought in Japanese promotions like Sengoku, Pancrase, and ZST throughout his 10-year career. The enigmatic former Sengoku featherweight champion owns wins over fighters like Chan Sung Jung, but has been knocked out by opponents such as Razul Mirsaev.
He’s a dangerous fighter with a mixed bag of tricks, and he could mix up the UFC 135-pound division by defeating Faber with a home field advantage.
However, he’ll have to defeat what may be his toughest-ever challenge, as the hard-charging Faber is incredibly tough to put away.
Kanehara’s striking game has been progressing at a rapid pace lately, however, as the 31-year-old won four straight bouts by knockout prior to his DQ loss to Kitada. Faber has never tapped out, but he has succumbed to strikes three times.
Both Faber and Kanehara are two of the most proven finishers fighting at 135 pounds, making this bout an excellent edition to the growing fall card.
The UFC’s return to Japan will be headlined by an explosive Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Mark Hunt heavyweight showdown, while former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight Miesha Tate welcomes Rin Nakai to the Octagon in the co-main event.
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