Diego Sanchez announced that he was to return to the welterweight division after coming away empty handed in his quest to take the lightweight title from BJ Penn at UFC 107 in December. Now he has revealed on his twitter account who he will be facing first at 170lbs.
“finally got a opponent john hathaway he’s 12-0 tough kid from the uk. we will be fighting may 29 in VEGAS!!!!! its on!!!”
Personally I find it a slightly surprising decision. Hathaway is one of the UK’s most promising fighters, but has so far been fighting in the undercard of UFC events where he has went three fights unbeaten against Thomas Egan, Rick Story and most recently Paul Taylor at UFC 105.
This is a major step up in competition though, with Sanchez well accustomed to fighting at 170lbs. Only Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck have bettered him in that division and Hathaway will have to put in the performance of his career if he wants to emerge with his winning record intact.
Also set for UFC 114, which is expected to be headlined by Quinton Rampage Jackson Vs Rashad Evans, is a heavyweight contest between Todd Duffee and Mike Russow.
Duffee immediately marked himself out as one to watch in the UFC after recording the fastest knockout in UFC history in his debut – flooring Tim Hague just seven seconds into their fight at UFC 102. Injury has since prevented him from returning to the octagon until now.
Mike Russow also made his debut at UFC 102, though he take the full three rounds to emerge with a win against Justin McCully.