The ufc recently made an interesting pairs of signings in order to further beef up their newly-minted Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions in the days leading up to the UFC’s official merger with the wec. The UFC saw to draw on some big-name international talent, as it recently signed both Michihiro Omigawa and Norifumi Yamamoto out of Japan and into exclusive contracts. Unfortunately, the promotion also recently released a WEC veteran who had competed with the promotion five times. Despite going 3-2 in the promotion, LC Davis will have to work his way back up from the minor leagues before he’s able to call the UFC home. Here are all the details.
MMA Weekly reports that Omigawa has re-signed with the UFC and is expected to face Chad Mendes sometime in 2011. Omigawa competed in the UFC twice before, once in 2007 and then again in 2008, and lost both fights. After returning to his native Japan and dropping down to Featherweight, Omigawa has managed to most recently string together five straight victories since November 2009, three of those victories being first-round stoppages. Mendes, his scheduled opponent, is on a four-fight win-streak in the WEC alone, and boasts an impressive 9-0 undefeated record since making his debut as a professional MMA fighter in September 2008.
MMA Weekly also reported on the signing of Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto, who was one of Japan’s premier “bad boy” fighters for quite some time. Yamamoto famously went on an amazing fourteen-fight unbeaten streak from 2002 to 2007 that included twelve stoppage victories, a vast majority of those coming by way of (T)KO. After taking over a year off, Yamamoto would return to Japan in May 2009 and lose two straight fights. His most recent fight did see him return to form, however, as he was able to KO Federico Lopez in under two minutes at the recent “DREAM.14” event. Yamamoto is currently pegged to face Demetrius Johnson at UFC 126 in February. After losing his WEC debut, Johnson most recently won back-to-back fights in the famed blue cage.
And finally, Five Ounces of Pain reports that LC Davis will not be one of the many WEC fighters making the transition to the UFC once the promotion is folded into the UFC in early 2011. Despite making his WEC debut by winning three straight fights (all by decision), Davis most recently lost two straight, including a first-round submission loss to Josh Grispi.
I’m honestly looking forward to both Omigawa’s and Yamamoto’s fights, and while I am a bit sad to see Davis let go, I can understand the reasoning behind it. I think Omigawa has earned another shot in the UFC, and I think Yamamoto’s international status as a star will help the UFC as it continues to stretch its borders. I think both Japanese-born fighters can be very entertaining given the right opponent, and they do seem to be getting good opponents. In regards to LC Davis… it is what it is. He did lose two straight, and he was unable to finish anyone in the WEC. I think you could make a case for him getting at least one fight in the UFC, but in the end, I knew from the get-go that not every WEC fighter would be getting their invitation into the UFC, so the continued release of under-performing WEC fighters prior to the merger doesn’t surprise me in the least bit.
And what about you, fans and friends? Any thoughts on these two new signings or the firing?