More Fights Announced For UFC 144 Card In JapanTwelve bouts have now been confirmed for UFC 144: “Edgar vs Henderson” on February 26, 2012 in Saitama, Japan. Among the latest additions today is a lightweight bout between former long-time PRIDE champion Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and submission specialist George Sotiropoulos.

Also announced today was a bantamweight battle between Japanese star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and England’s Vaughan Lee, as both fighters look to rebound from setbacks. Elsewhere, Chinese prospect Tiequan “The Wolf” Zhang faces off with Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia in a featherweight bout.

Gomi (32-8-0, 1 ND) and Sotiropoulos (14-4-0) are both looking to get back on the winning track after two consecutive defeats inside the Octagon. Gomi has posted just one win in four UFC bouts and may now be in a must-win situation in his return home to Japan. The standout boxer has struggled against grapplers and fellow strikers alike, but should hold an advantage over Sotiropoulos if he can keep the fight standing. Sotiropoulos looked to be one win away from a title shot until his losses to Dennis Siver and Rafael dos Anjos this year.

Yamamoto (18-5-0, 1 NC), much like Gomi, is most likely in a must-win situation when he faces Lee (11-7-1). Yamamoto has tasted defeat in both of his Octagon bouts since making his long-awaited UFC debut in February. He has now dropped four of five and is in desperate need of a big victory as his future becomes uncertain. Lee came up just short in his UFC debut against Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso earlier this month, but fared well early in the fight and could provide a tougher challenge than expected when he faces Yamamoto.

Zhang (15-2-0) remains one of China’s top prospects despite a pair of recent losses, but he will not have an easy fight when he steps up to face Garcia (15-8-1). Zhang debuted in the WEC with a quick win over fellow prospect Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza, but has come out on the wrong side of decisions in two of three bouts since. Garcia has been the beneficiary of a number of dubious decision victories in recent years, but he now looks to end a two-fight losing streak that saw him fall to rivals Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan.

UFC officials also announced two additional bouts on the promotion’s website today. A heavyweight matchup between Mark Hunt (7-7-0) and Cheick Kongo (17-6-2), first reported by MMABay, was confirmed along with a bantamweight bout between former WEC contender Takeya Mizugaki (15-6-2) and Chris Cariaso (12-3-0).

UFC 144 takes place on February 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event features a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and former WEC champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson.


UFC 144 Fight Card (subject to change):

– Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs Ben “Smooth” Henderson [UFC Lightweight Championship]
– Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Ryan “Darth” Bader
– Jake Shields vs Yoshihiro Akiyama
– Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon
– Yushin “Thunder” Okami vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
– Hatsu Hioki vs Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski
– Riki Fukuda vs Steve “The Robot” Cantwell
– Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi vs George Sotiropoulos
– Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs Vaughan Lee
– Tiequan “The Wolf” Zhang vs Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia
– Mark Hunt vs Cheick Kongo
– Takeya Mizugaki vs Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso



(Photo Credit: