Japanese fighters and UFC veterans Akihiro Gono and Yoshiyuki Yoshida have signed with Titan FC based in Kansas, USA.
Titan FC COO Lex McMahon confirmed the news with MMA Fighting‘s Ariel Helwani on Thursday.
Gono (34-19-8) one of only four men to beat both Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard, and DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi. Both of those wins were in PRIDE, and then he segued into the UFC where he went 1-2, going to decisions against Jon Fitch and Dan Hardy.
Gono then retired from MMA following a disappointing TKO loss to Michael Chandler in Bellator. Words from a friend spurred him to reinvent himself at welterweight and continue his career, which he did in Brazil at Oxygym. After two wins at the Hill Fighters promotion in Curitaba, he returned him to Japan where he is expected to have shoulder surgery.
Yoshida (17-6) began his MMA in SHooto and Cage Force, when eight finishes in a row earned him a shot in the UFC. He went 2-3 against fighters including Josh Koscheck and Anthony Johnson. Like Gono, he also appeared once in Bellator, then became a journeyman for a while before returning to a career in Japan. Six straight wins that include Phil Baroni and Won Sik Park have kept his name in the hat.
Both fighters are expected to make their debut in 2014, with Yoshida on Titan FC 30 in September 26th. Titan FC has a deal with CBS Sports Network to broadcast main card fights on the digital cable subscription channel and prelims stream live on CBSSports.com.