Urijah Faber will travel to Japan for his next fight but he won’t be facing Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto as first rumored when the former WEC champion was in talks to compete on the upcoming September 20 card in Saitama.
Instead, Faber will face newcomer Masanori Kanehara in a bantamweight bout bound for the main card in Japan. Sources close to the situation confirmed the fight to FOX Sports on Monday. The fight was first reported by FightSportAsia.
Faber is fresh off a dominant win over Alex Caceres in his last fight at UFC 175 and later that night when asked about what he’d like to do next, ‘The California Kid’ mentioned a possible matchup with Kid Yamamoto. For several years, Faber and Yamamoto were the two top dogs in the lighter weight divisions, but they never met in an actual bout.
It seems things will stay that way after Yamamoto suffered an injury that will keep him out of the upcoming card in Japan.
Now Faber faces Kanehara, who makes his UFC debut with a respectable 23-11-5 record while also actually holding a win over Yamamoto from 2009. Kanehara has racked up a 6-1 record over his last seven fights with his last bout ending via disqualification after his opponent was tossed from the ring in their match.
The upcoming UFC Fight Night card from Japan will be headlined by heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt squaring off in a five round main event.