Fresh off successful Octagon debuts at UFC 137 in October, Japanese featherweight Hatsu Hioki will return to his home country to face WEC veteran Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 on February 26 in Saitama, Japan, MMA Weekly confirmed Sunday.
Hioki (25-4-2) narrowly topped George Roop by split decision for the former Sengoku champion’s fifth-straight win, while Palaszewski (36-14) scored UFC 137’s “Knockout of the Night” on Tyson Griffin to improve to 5-1 in his last six fights.
UFC 144, which airs as a regular UFC pay-per-view on Feb. 25 in the U.S., is headlined by UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson and also includes Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis and Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt.
For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.com.
Pictured: Hatsu Hioki (via UFC.com)