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Caol Uno to Make His UFC Return in June

(Caol Uno vs. BJ Penn at UFC 34. Okay, so they weren’t all brilliant performances…)

After nearly six years away from the organization, one of the UFC’s early lightweight stars will be making his long-awaited return this summer. MMA Junkie reports that Japanese grappler Caol Uno has re-signed with the UFC and will likely step back into the Octagon against Spencer Fisher at UFC 99 (June 13th; Cologne, Germany). 

After beginning his MMA career in Shooto, where he eventually won the league’s 154-pound title, Uno entered the UFC in 2001 and immediately fought for the UFC’s "bantamweight" (155-pound) title against Jens Pulver. He lost a decision to Lil’ Evil, but after going 2-1 in his next three fights — including wins over Fabiano Iha and Yves Edwards, and the 11-second loss to BJ Penn shown above — Uno was invited to compete in a four-man UFC tournament to fill the lightweight title that Pulver had vacated. Uno defeated Din Thomas by decision in the tourney’s first round at UFC 39, but ran into Penn once again at UFC 41 in February 2003. The two fought to a frustrating five-round split-draw, which led the UFC to disband the 155-pound division for three years.

Uno fought for K-1 during that time, scoring notable wins over Hideo Tokoro, Rich Clementi, and Kultar Gill in their Hero’s promotion. Last year, Uno entered DREAM’s lightweight grand prix, where he choked out Mitsuhiro Ishida in the quarterfinals before losing to Shinya Aoki by decision in the semis. In recent weeks, Uno was mentioned as one of the fighters that the UFC wanted to use to break into Japan. Said Dana White: "Caol Uno, I love him. He’ll always be a part of the UFC. And yeah, we’re talking to him, too." 

Uno’s next opponent, Spencer Fisher, is 7-3 in the Octagon and has won his last two bouts against Jeremy Stephens and Shannon Gugerty; he also holds UFC wins over Thiago Alves, Matt Wiman, and Sam Stout. So, it won’t exactly be an easy "welcome back" fight for the Japanese veteran.

Two videos of Uno actually winning fights are after the jump…

(Uno vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida, 5/11/08)

(Uno vs. Kultar Gill, 8/5/06)

Cagepotato Comments

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TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 18, 2009 at 11:24 am
First- SMB... Lick nuts.

Second- Lick nuts.

Third- I never said i was an up an comer of any kind. I just teach a wrestling class there.

Fourth- I was just stating more specific facts for my first post because someone was saying that i was tossin around a lot of bs. Sorry if you live a mundane life in Flint Michigan or where ever it is that you call your home but there isnt a need to hate. Go back to watching some old TUF seasons.

gvd- February 18, 2009 at 7:21 am
Now THAT's the fuckin BJ Penn everyone loves. What the fuck happened?
Anonymous- February 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm
it would be uno vs. penn 3, not 2
Dr. Gonzo- February 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm
@ beforeskin,

If you don't see any way that Uno can win this match, then I have to question your MMA knowledge. Spencer couldn't defend an inside trip from Hermes Franca or a takedown from Dan Lauzon. Uno has a slick single leg and is known for his wrestling. I think this is a good matchup for Uno and see him winning this easily if he decides to take it to the ground
Kintama Chikara- February 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm
Caol is a good guy with lots of heart but I just don't think he's got it anymore. Getting old like the rest of us so I predict 1 win then 2 or 3 losses and he'll be cut. There is possiblity there though, hope I'm wrong. Regardless, should be some good fights.
Bill C.- February 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm
Good deal, it'll be nice to see Uno back in the Octagon.
BM2- February 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm
That fight against Ishida was my favourite fight of 2008. Incredible, emotional fight - Ishida angrily talking shit (!) about how Caol didn't deserve to be in the tourney, being directly seeded into the second round. A very even fight that culminated with Caol locking in the choke first, and not the hooks, then firing up and jabbing fingers at the audience to celebrate his comeback. Ishida crying while hiding his head under a towel; Kawajiri hulking the fuck up and grabbing Caol to exchange fighting words.

It's a shame to see him leave DREAM. I would have seriously loved to see Caol Uno vs Tatsuya Kawajiri 2: the revengening
MoTropolis- February 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm
Uno cant telegraph incoming strikes at all. He is gonna eat it in the ufc these days.
James- February 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm
For a second, I confused Caol Uno with Genki Sudo and got really excited....but then I cried a little.
Smell my beef- February 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm
In case you didn't know, TheRandomKnowlegableGuy works at an MMA store, trains at Chute Box, and is an up and cummer! Everyone give him a round of applause. Oh yeah, and he meets REAL LIFE MMA FIGHTERS! Kudos TRKGuy!!!!!
TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm
and before i get called out on the inspirit thing the US rep was with him and his name is Shuichi Nishide and he speaks perfect Enrish.
TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Warner and springdale actually. My bad.
TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm
He came by to the Chute Boxe muy thai academy in Huntington Beach Ca off of beach and warner with the owners of Inpirit they also came by my work in Huntington Beach the OTM Fight Shop to see if we could negotiate their prices to get their product in my shop. They mark up their shorts too much. Sorry no bullshit real story thanks. He was there around 11 just to let you know :]
I call bullsheet- February 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Calls Bullsheet! Stopped by my academy and mentioned something? He doesn't even speak Engrish, nice try round eye!
TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm
This is awesome Im a fan of Uno. This fight with Fisher is going to be good, both great fighters that always put on a show.

Uno stopped by my academy about 2 weeks ago and mentioned something about comin to fight in the states but he didnt specify. Hes a great guy and an awesome fighter. WOOP~!
Clozer- February 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Where have you been? That sort of banter is in almost every article. Oh and by the way, you just added to it, so doesn't that make you a hypocrite? Well done.
Hebrew Hammerfist- February 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm
HAHA. Hilarious that BJ ran out of the cage right after the KO. Now that is funny shit.
Sheps- February 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm
Omfg no way, awesome! I've been wanting this for ages!
Terrakilla- February 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm
BJ is a jerk and a joke. Not a good way to hype Uno's return.
WASAAA- February 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm
Uno is the man. He has the heart of the lion and is a good fighter who can upset anyone. He fought BJ in a rematch and it went to a draw.
CanadianProduce- February 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm
More like Caol "Oh"no
John- February 17, 2009 at 12:33 pm
Holy shit, did anyone see the list of retard comments in the Big Jon article? For a minute I was embarrassed to be an MMA fan knowing those idiots are MMA fans also. What a bunch of pathetic inbred,
closet case, morons!
beforeskin- February 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm
I don't see Uno being able to win this match.
Unless he actually happens to land his patented dropkick after the opening bell.
If that's the case, I'd love to see him rematch Yamamoto in a 15 second rounds rule match. You know, just to see them both flying at each other. A la Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style.
Fenix- February 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm
BJ is such a badass at lightweight! What an idiot for ever trying to go up and run with the big boys.
mayhem420- February 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm
This should be a fun match to watch.
Fisher by TKO in the 2nd round.