UFC Fight Night 52 takes place in Tokyo, Japan on September 20, 2014. The UFC Japan website has updated two bouts. Masanori Kanehara will face Alex Caceras, and Yoshihiro Akiyama will meet Amir Sadollah.
Originally it was announced that KID Yamamoto would be back to the Octagon for the event. Urijah Faber was his planned opponent. However, that bout changed and Faber was instead going to welcome Masanori Kanehara to the UFC. Now the match has changed again, with all original opponents out – Kanehara will meet Alex Caceras, who just lost his first UFC fight to Faber.
Caceras made his UFC debut in Asia at the first card in Macau in 2012. He was then tacked on to the next Asia event in Japan, where his win against Kang Kyung-Ho was overturned for testing positive for marijuana. Caceras then won FOTN and Sub OTN for his finish of Sergio Pettis.
Kanehara has long been pegged as a UFC candidate. He has well-rounded skills which include giving him 8 wins by KO and 9 by submissions. A veteran of the MMA game for over ten years, he holds notable wins over Michihiro Omigawa, Korean Zombie Jung Chan-Sung, and – in coming full circle of this match – KID Yamamoto.
After Kyle Noke pulled off the card due to injury, Sexiyama was rumored to be facing Amir Sadollah. Now the rumor can be confirmed. Sadollah, sidelined by injuries for as long as Akiyama’s self-imposed layoff, was expected to return against Nico Musoke on October 4, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 53. However, his return will be moved up by two weeks. He brings very strong striking to Akiyama’s judo. Yet Sadollah faced another Korean judoka in Kim Dong-Hyun, and he had nothing in response to the throws.
While Akiyama has only gone one win in 5 fights with the UFC, three of those were awarded with Fight of the Night honors, and increased the Korean Judoka’s legendary status post-HERO’s and DREAM. In any case, fans will be happy to see him back in the Octagon.
UFC Fight Night 52 is headlined by heavyweights Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson.