Tony Martin & Keita Nakamura Welterweight Fight Added to UFC Atlantic City
A welterweight bout between Tony Martin and Keita Nakamura is the latest addition to the growing UFC Atlantic City card as the promotion gears up to make its return to Atlantic City for the first time since July, 2014. The bout was first reported by Rafael Oreiro from MMA Brasil. UFC Fight Night 128 (UFC Atlantic City) takes place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
— Nolan King (@mma_kings) February 12, 2018
After eight appearances in the UFC’s lightweight division, Martin (12-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) will move up to welterweight for the first time. Despite never officially missing weight at lightweight, Martin’s weight-cut and cardio struggles have been well-documented by the 28-year-old. After going 1-3 in his first four UFC bouts, Martin put together a nice three-fight win streak submitting Felipe Olivieri, and grinding out decisions over Alex White and Johnny Case. In his most recent octagon appearance, Martin fell short losing a split-decision call to fellow grappling-ace, Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Pittsburgh last September. Now training at American Top Team, Martin will certainly be looking to start strong in his divisional debut.
Martin’s opponent on the other hand, will be the most experienced he’s ever faced. Keita Nakamura (33-8-2 (1 NC) MMA, 3-5 UFC) made his promotional debut back in 2006. Nakamura found himself released from the promotion after three decision losses to Rob Emerson, Drew Fickett and Brock Larsen, the latter of which has been a primary coach of Martin’s throughout his career. A 14-3 stretch competing in Asia earned “K-Taro” a return call to the UFC. Since then, he’s alternated wins and losses with two submission finishes in five fights. His most recent appearance came in his home country of Japan last September when he earned a split-decision win over Alex Morono at UFC Saitama. The 33-year-old will be aiming to pick up consecutive UFC victories for the first time in his career.
With this addition, the UFC Atlantic City card now includes:
#8 David Branch vs. #11 Thiago Santos
#10 Leslie Smith vs. #12 Aspen Ladd
#8 Corey Anderson vs. #10 Patrick Cummins
#9 Uriah Hall vs. #14 Paulo Borrachinha Costa
#9 Aljamain Sterling vs. #14 Brett Johns
#15 Magomed Bibulatov vs. Ulka Sasaki
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Luan Chagas
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Augusto Mendes
Tony Martin vs. Keita Nakamura