Submission artist Hatsu Hioki (bottom) will make his Octagon debut at UFC 137. | Photo: Taro Irei
Former Sengoku featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki will make his Octagon debut against George Roop at UFC 137, the promotion announced Saturday.
Headlined by a welterweight title scrap between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz, UFC 137 goes down Oct. 29 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Hioki, 27, has won 12 of his last 14 contests. The Japanese export has not lost since 2009, when he dropped a split decision to fellow UFC featherweight Michihiro Omigawa at Sengoku “Eleventh Battle.” The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt captured Sengoku's featherweight title this past December, outpointing current Bellator Fighting Championships talent Marlon Sandro en route to a unanimous nod at “Soul of Fight.”
Most recently, Hioki finished Donald Sanchez in April, ending the American's night with a triangle choke.
A lanky striker, Roop has seen his ups and downs under the Zuffa banner, posting a record of 1-2 in the UFC as a lightweight before cutting to 145 pounds and joining the WEC.
After starting 2010 with a draw and a loss, Roop won his first WEC contest in spectacular fashion, knocking out Chan Sung Jung with a head kick in September. The 29-year-old could not maintain that momentum, however, as he was battered by future title challenger Mark Hominick in January, lasting only 88 seconds with “The Machine.”
Roop rebounded from the defeat and looked better than ever in his last outing, dominating Josh Grispi at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” before finishing the fight with a third-round technical knockout.