UFC Bolsters Oct. 18 UK Card

By Jordan Breen Jul 15, 2008
UFC Bolsters Oct. 18 UK Card By Jordan Breen Zuffa has significantly bolstered the lineup for their Oct. 18 UFC 89 card at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England with three more official fights.

Joining the marquee bout between middleweights Michael Bisping (Pictures) and Chris Leben (Pictures) will be a welterweight clash between surging UK product Dan Hardy (Pictures) and returning Japanese vet Akihiro Gono (Pictures), heavyweight prospect Shane Carwin (Pictures) taking on undefeated British banger Neil Wain, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (Pictures) tangling with Luis Arthur Cane (Pictures) in a pairing of explosive 205-pounders.

A Japanese opponent will be nothing new for Hardy, who rose to prominence last year in GCM's Cage Force tournament, dismantling Japan's Daizo Ishige (Pictures) and Hidetaka Monma (Pictures), before getting disqualified for an errant kick to the groin in the tournament final against Yoshiyuki Yoshida (Pictures), now a UFC talent himself. Gono, who made an impressive Octagon debut with second-round submission over Tamden McCrory last November at UFC 78, broke his right hand in the bout which nixed a scheduled bout with Jon Fitch (Pictures) this past March and has kept him on the shelf since.

Carwin, a former Division II national wrestling champion at Colorado's Western State College, showed off his hands in his UFC debut this past May, knocking out Christian Wellisch (Pictures) in 44 seconds. The unblemished Wain is no stranger to fast finishes himself, having stopped all of his opponents in the first round.

After a deflating December loss to Lyoto Machida (Pictures) at UFC 79, Sokoudjou got back into the win column in May, halting Kazuhiro Nakamura (Pictures) at the end of the first frame. Also last December, Cane tasted defeat for the first time as he was disqualified for an illegal knee to James Irvin (Pictures), but the Brazilian rebounded in impressive fashion, viciously halting Jason Lambert (Pictures) in just over two minutes last month at UFC 85 in London.
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