Does anyone remember Nick Ring?
He was pegged as one of the favorites to claim “The Ultimate Fighter” contract during season 12, having been one of the more well-rounded fighters in the middleweight field, which was also made evident when coach and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz chose Ring as his number one pick in the middleweight field.
After his initial elimination bout to enter the house was behind him when Ring defeated Woody Wetherby via TKO inside of the first round, he next defeated eventual show winner Court McGee in the preliminary round, by Majority decision at the end of the two round affair. Sustaining an knee injury during the show, Nick went under the knife for the third-time in order to have his ACL replaced in reconstructive surgery.
Now back in action after a long rehab, Ring is looking to make a successful debut in the UFC against veteran Riki Fukuda this February, in the organization’s second foray in Australia.
UFC 127 features a welterweight headliner against former UFC champion BJ Penn as he takes on perennial contender and former title challenger in Jon Fitch, which takes place in Sydney, Australia at the Acer Arena on Feb. 27.
MMAJunkie.com first reported the validity of the middleweight affair between Fukuda and Ring, which will take place on the preliminary portion of the pay-per-view event.
It’ll be more then a year since Ring was last seen in action, when the Canadian last defeated Yannick Galipeau via first-round armbar. The win extended his undefeated streak to a perfect 10-0 record as a professional. Impressively, in his professional debut, Nick defeated longtime veteran Bill Mahood with a 22-second first round submission back in 2002.
Riki Fukuda is the reigning and defending DEEP middleweight champion hailing from Japan, and will also be making his UFC debut opposite of Ring. A true veteran, Fukuda has fought all around the world having defeated the likes of notable fighters in WEC vet Hiromitsu Kanehara, UFC vet Brandon Wolff, and former PRIDE star Murilo Rua (brother of current UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua).
So, MMA peeps, what do you make of the news? Surprised that Ring was still in the UFC fold? Who do you think takes this match up? Experience goes to Fukuda who currently holds an impressive 17-4 record, and Ring does have the skills to match, however 16-months away from the cage could present some “ring-rust” issues. Sound off in the comment section below.