Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern, Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Hacran Dias set for UFN 34

Dan Herbertson, MMA Fighting

The UFC’s first event in 2014 has two new bouts.

UFC Fight Night 34, set for Jan. 4 in Marina Bay, Singapore, will feature the UFC debut of Japanese stars Tatsuya Kawajiri and Katsunori Kikuno, who take on Hacran Dias and Quinn Mulhern, respectively. FightSportAsia and FoxSports first reported the bouts.

Kawajiri (32-7-2), a former Shooto 155-pound world champion, enters the Octagon riding a five-fight win streak, including stoppage victories over Joachim Hansen and Drew Fickett. Undefeated since dropping to the featherweight division, Kawajiri’s only two losses over the last 12 bouts were title fights in Strikeforce and DREAM.

Dias (21-2-1) returns to the Octagon eight months after his first loss under the Zuffa banner. The Nova Uniao featherweight defeated Iuri Alcantara in his UFC debut on June 2012, but saw his nine-fight win streak vanish when Nik Lentz dominated him at UFC on FX 8 last May.

In addition, Kikuno (21-5-2), a former DEEP lightweight champion, makes his promotional debut after five consecutive wins since October 2012, four of them coming via first-round stoppages. During his eight-year MMA career, the Japanese veteran has battled the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Gesias Cavalcante and Mizuto Hirota.

Since losing to Rick Story in his UFC debut, Mulhern (18-3) was expected to return against Ryan Couture and Thiago Tavares, but was forced out of both fights with injuries. Mulhern signed with the UFC after racking up a 3-1 record inside the Strikeforce cage, with wins over Yuri Villefort, David Hulett and Danny Davis.

UFN 34 is headlined by a welterweight contest between former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine and Jake Ellenberger.

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