UFC Signs Hatsu Hioki

Japanese standout is an instant contender in increasingly dangerous featherweight division

The UFC announced via Twitter this morning that Hatsu Hioki has signed a multi-fight deal with the organization.

Hioki is regarded by many as the second best featherweight in mixed martial arts, trailing only UFC champion Jose Aldo.

The 27-year-old former Shooto and Sengoku champion boasts an impressive 24-2-2 record with victories over “Lion” Takeshi Inoue, Bellator featherweight tournament competitors Ronnie Mann and Marlon Sandro, and Mark Hominick, whom he’s beaten twice.

Adding Hioki to the featherweight roster has been in the works for some time. The possibility increased when the Japanese star vacated his two championships and made the trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to take in UFC 131 as a guest of the organization.

Hioki’s addition makes the featherweight division even more competitive. Kenny Florian seemingly punched his ticket to a title fight with a win over Diego Nunes in his divisional debut earlier this month, while Chad Mendes likely faces the winner with a victory over Rani Yahya.

Bringing in Hioki makes things even more competitive.

No date has been given for his debut appearance in the Octagon.

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