Hatsu Hioki (24-4-2) vs. George Roop (12-7-1)
Hioki, arguably the best Japanese pound-for-pound fighter of the past five years, finally makes his UFC debut against the former Rage in the Cage champion Roop.
Hioki, 28, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and talented kickboxer, has never legitimately lost a fight. All four of his setbacks were contentious decisions that could have gone either way.
Meanwhile, the Japanese sensation has defeated top fighters such as Marlon Sandro, Takeshi Inoue, Masanori Kanehara, Ronnie Mann, Mark Hominick and Jeff Curran.
The last reigning TKO and Sengoku featherweight torchbearer competes on U.S. soil for the first time ever, though Hioki is fully adept to competing in a cage and he should have little trouble adjusting to the North American rule system.
Roop, 29, was trained by the late Shawn Tompkins. The Arizona native is coming off the biggest win of his career -- a third-round knockout of Josh Grispi in June. Roop has split wins and losses since his run on the eighth installment of "The Ultimate Fighter," but he is looking to finally build a streak in hopes of becoming a contender in the UFC's featherweight mix.
Roop has struggled against superior submission artists such as George Sotiropoulos and superior strikers such as Hominick. With that being said, Hioki will have his number anywhere the fight goes.
Like his Japanese counterpart Shinya Aoki, Hioki is masterful at getting his opponents trapped on the canvas. If he can wrap Roop into his submission web, he will have his hand raised in victory.
Verdict: Hioki via Submission, Round 1