UFC 144 predictions and previews for first three 'Prelims' fights on Facebook/FX - - Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell, Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso and Tiequan Zhang vs. Issei Tamura -- at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Feb. 25, 2012.
A year ago, we selected the inaugural class of fighters that would make up the first edition of the World MMA Scouting Report. It's been a gratifying experience to see some of the athletes we selected go on to succeed in major fight opportunities, and a heartbreaking one to see others come up just short.
There was some doubt whether Shinya Aoki would attempt to stand and bang with former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough in the lead-up to their DREAM 17 main event showdown on Saturday night at Saitama Super Arena.
Japanese featherweight kingpin Hatsu Hioki, considered by many to be one of the best featherweight fighters in the world, extended his winning streak to four as he defeated King of the Cage bantamweight champion Donald Sanchez in non-title action at Shooto Tradition 2011 this past weekend.
Our #2 ranked prospect, Taiki Tsuchiya (9-2), is easily one of the most exciting prospects in Japan, and while most fans will see his weaknesses in the ground department as the ultimate Achilles' heel -- I think most readers will agree that Tsuchiya's stand-up is on another level.