UFC

UFC announces legends for Japan card in September

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The UFC are going all out with their return to Japan and have announced the return of three Japanese MMA legends to the September 20th card.

Takanori Gomi, Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto and Yoshihiro 'Sexy' Akiyama will all make their returns to the octagons for what is fast becoming one of the most stacked cards of the year.

Gomi last fought in April, where he beat Isaac Vallie-Flagg via decision at UFC 172 and earned fight of the night honours but for Yamamoto and Akiyama, it will be two and a half years since they last fought.

UFC 144

They both fought at UFC 144 back in February 2012 and both lost. Yamamoto was beaten by Vaughan Lee via armbar and Akiyama lost a decision to Jake Shields.

Both are were on losing streaks before they went on hiatus but they're both household names in Japan and Akiyama as found success in South Korea as a TV personality.

They currently don't have opponents but with their returns, the long awaited 'dream fight' of Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt as well as the possible of returns of Alistair Overeem, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua and Dominick Cruz means this could be the biggest non-PPV card of the year.

Cruz hasn't fought in over two years but has been linked for a return at UFC 177, three weeks before the Japan card, yet his proposed opponent, Takeya Mizugaki has asked for a September fight instead, meaning he could be the fourth Japanese star on the cards.

Cruz has been befit with injuries in the past couple years and had to surrender his UFC Bantamweight title to Renan Barao, before it was won by TJ Dillashaw earlier this year.

Rising star

Mizugaki is fast rising up through the bantamweight division and fight with Cruz could be used as a possible title-fight eliminator which would add even more hype.

As for Overeem, he made his name in Japan when fighting for PRIDE, Dream and K-1 and is recovering from recent elbow surgery. He's requested to come back at the event and has been tipped to face former UFC Heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski.

'Shogun' Rua who was last seen in March, where he was beat by Dan Henderson by a devastating third round knockout after winning two of the rounds.

Like Overeem, he made his name in Pride, where the two fought twice with Rua winning both, and he's looking to keep himself relevant in the light heavyweight division.

If they can piece together card of Hunt v Nelson, Gomi, Takamoto, Akiyama, Mizugaki v Cruz as well as Overeem and Rua, it would blow away some of the cards we've seen and is easily on PPV level.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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