Courtesy of Pancrase

Newly-Signed Daichi Abe and Hyun-Gyu Lim Set to Clash at UFC Japan

According to sources close to MMA Today, newly-crowned Welterweight King of Pancrase Daichi Abe has signed with the UFC and will face South Korean slugger “The Ace” Hyun-Gyu Lim at UFC Fight Night 117 on 23 September in Japan.

The 25 year-old Abe put himself on the map recently when he easily dismantled Hiromitsu Miura with power punches in the second round for the welterweight title at Pancrase 288. In the post-fight interview streamed on UFC Fight Pass, he requested to be on the UFC Japan card. Well he got his wish but the task in front of him is going to be tenacious.

He is undefeated at 5-0 with a 80% finishing rate, all by knockout, as a mixed martial artist. Abe is also a 2 division kickboxing champion and the Junior Judo National Champion.

Before getting his opportunity to fight for the title, he worked himself up the amateur ranks and even went 4-0 with all wins via knockout and three of them under the Pancrase banner. After that, he turned pro in early 2014 and has not looked back since. With a strong Judo base and aggressively heavy hands on top of youth, he is a terrible match-up for any opponent whatever their strong suit may be.

But that is where the 6x UFC vet, Lim, comes in. The former Pacific Xtreme Combat 170-pound title-holder also possesses lethal venom in his fists as well as knees and is not afraid to stand and trade with the best. This style of fighting has created some of the scariest displays of violence seen in the Octagon, just look up his highlight reel and be in awe.

Unfortunately, he is 3-3 for the promotion and currently has dropped two in a row to elite competition, Neil Magny (UFN 66) and Mike Perry (UFC 202). This fight could be for his walking papers but once he gets punched in the face, he turns into a madman throwing from the hip and that is always fun.

Both these combatants come out the gate launching missiles to the dome so this contest is definitely must see TV and has the potential to be one of those slugfests rabid fans feind for. A man on the brink of getting cut and a newcomer wanting to prove himself will produce some electrifying moments in the cage.

Other bouts already announced for UFC Japan include top-ranked flyweights Brazilian Jussier Formiga and submission machine Yuta Sasaki battling for a contender spot, Filipino boxer Jenel Lausa versus young phenom Naomi Inoue, Queen of Pancrase Syuri Kondo taking on 19 year-old South Korean Chan-Mi Jeon, and kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki clashing with Luis Henrique da Silva in a light heavyweight tilt. The event will be headlined by Pride legend and former 205-pound champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua trying to get revenge against slick striker Ovince St. Preux in a rematch.

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John Hyon Ko is an Asia-based combat sports journalist as well as the host and producer of Kumite Radio.