TWO former flyweight title contenders look to get back on the hunt for the belt as the UFC announced the addition of the showdown between third-ranked Kyoji Horiguchi and no.8 Ali Bagautinov in the Fight Night Manila: Ricardo Lamas vs BJ Penn card on October 15 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Horiguchi, who turns 26 three days before the fight, entered the UFC in 2013 after a dominant stint in Japan. He won his first four UFC fights, two via knockout, before earning his shot at the flyweight belt but lost to champion Demetrious Johnson after tapping out in the fifth round due to an armbar in April 2015. He has since bounced back with two consecutive wins heading into the Manila fight.
Meanwhile, Bagautinov shared a similar path with his Japanese foe. He also entered the UFC in 2013 after dominating the Russian MMA scene. Then Bagautinov defeated his first three opponents to earn a title shot against Johnson, and suffered a unanimous decision loss at the hands of the champ in June 2014. He is coming off a win from his most recent fight and looks to keep rolling against Horiguchi when they clash in Manila on October.
Tickets for the UFC Fight Night Manila: Lamas vs Penn are available at all SM Tickets outlets or through www.smtickets.com. Official ticket prices and the fight card have remained unannounced but fans can get special pre-sale access and more at www.ufc.com/manila. The fight will also be shown live on Hyper (channel 53) and Hyper HD (channel 130) on CIgnal TV.
UFC Fight Night Manila: Lamas vs Penn is sponsored by Monster Energy, Harley-Davidson Asia Pacific, Hudson Shipping Lines, Phoenix Petroleum, Reebok Philippines, Lazada Philippines, Police Watches and Smart Bro.
Follow UFC Asia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ufc), and use our official hashtag: #UFCManila to know more about the upcoming fight card in the Philippines.