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UFC signs Shooto world champion Hernani Perpetuo

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Hernani Perpetuo is the latest addition to the UFC’s welterweight division.

Two months after winning the Shooto world title with a unanimous decision victory over MMA veteran Tommy Depret at Shooto Brazil 42, Perpetuo (17-3, 1 no-contest), a Nova Uniao product, signed a deal with the UFC and is expected to make his Octagon debut early 2014.

"I’ve signed a contract with the UFC today," Perpetuo told MMAFighting.com on Thursday, confirming an initial report by Combate.

"I already expected to sign with a major promotion after I won the Shooto title, and I’m looking forward my first fight."

Perpetuo’s five-round war with Depret was the ninth bout of his undefeated streak, which includes two knockouts and one submission.

"I have to win my first fight and then climb the rankings step by step," he said. "The Shooto title was very important to open doors and get me in the UFC."