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Hatsu Hioki Signs With UFC

Hatsu Hioki, the former Sengoku Raiden Championships featherweight champion and Shooto lightweight champion, has finally signed with the UFC. The organization tweeted the news Saturday morning.

Hioki (24-4-2), who most pundits believe is at the very least a top-five featherweight, had been negotiating with the UFC for several months and even made the trip to UFC 131 and Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum recently to get a little face time with UFC officials.

The 27-year-old has won his last four fights in a row and 9 of his last 10. He holds notable wins over Marlon Sandro, Takeshi Inoue, Ronnie Mann and Mark Hominick.

This won't mark the first time Hioki will fight for a North American promotion, as he competed three times for the now-defunct Montreal-based TKO organization from 2006 to 2008. He held the promotion's featherweight title, defeating Hominick twice and Thierry Quenneville. He returned to Montreal following UFC 131 to train at Tristar with the likes of Georges St-Pierre.

No word just yet on when and where Hioki will make his UFC debut.

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