Katsunori Kikuno will head to Singapore for his first Octagon appearance. | Dean Marchand/Sherdog.com
Just two weeks after signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, former Deep champion Katsunori Kikuno has a date and opponent for his Octagon debut.
The Japanese lightweight will take on former Strikeforce fighter Quinn Mulhern on Jan. 4 when the UFC makes its first trip to Singapore. While a venue for the event is yet to be announced, the promotion confirmed Monday through FoxSports.com that the Kikuno-Mulhern bout has been verbally agreed upon.
A practitioner of kyokushin karate known for his devastating crescent kick, 32-year-old Kikuno enters the UFC on a five-fight winning streak which includes three first-round knockouts. Unlike many Japanese fighters, Kikuno has experience fighting inside a cage; he has compiled a 3-1 record when competing inside the chain-link, with his only defeat coming in a 2009 submission loss to Eddie Alvarez.
Mulhern, 29, is a former King of the Cage welterweight champion who suffered a first-round TKO against Rick Story in his March UFC debut. The Greg Jackson student was slated to make his 155-pound debut against Ryan Couture at UFC 164 before being forced to withdraw due to a hand injury.