Coming off three consecutive victories against Paulo Thiago, Siyar Bahadurzada, and Erick Silva, South Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim is one of the most successful Asian fighters currently competing in the UFC. Naturally, the UFC has booked him to headline the TUF China Finale, which goes down March 1st at the CotaiArena in Macau. Kim will face British vet John Hathaway, who is riding his own three-fight win streak, although against somewhat weaker competition. Plus, Hathaway was inactive for all of 2013 due to ulcerative colitis, so yeah, this kind of feels like a squash match. The fight will be scheduled for five rounds; neither Kim nor Hathaway has ever competed in a five-rounder before.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the contender spectrum, TopMMANews is reporting that Hatsu Hioki and Ivan Menjivar will face off in a featherweight bout at the TUF China Finale that could end with the loser getting the axe. Once considered to be one of the greatest featherweights in the world, Hioki has struggled to find his footing in the UFC, and has lost three consecutive decisions to Ricardo Lamas, Clay Guida, and Darren Elkins. As for Menjivar, the “Pride of El Salvador” went 0-2 in 2013, dropping fights against Urijah Faber and Wilson Reis.
The TUF China Finale will stream live on UFC Fight Pass, that online subscription thing that the promotion has been hawking lately, which means that most of you probably won’t see these fights anyway. Personally, we’re going to hold off on signing up until we’re sure that the shy yoga instructor has been added to the card, hopefully in a match against Bobby Ologun. Make it happen, Mark.