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Top bantamweight Michael McDonald returns to meet Masanori Kanehara at UFC 195

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the best bantamweights on the planet is coming back after two years away.

Michael McDonald will return to face Masanori Kanehara at UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, according to a report from FOX Sports on Monday. UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler confirmed the news on Twitter.

McDonald (16-3) has not fought since a loss to Urjah Faber at UFC on FOX 2 in December 2013. The California native has dealt with a slew of injuries, including debilitating ones to his wrist. McDonald, still just 24, remained in the UFC's official bantamweight rankings despite the time off and he's currently still at No. 8. His only losses in the UFC came to elite opponents Faber and Renan Barao.

Kanehara (25-12-5) is coming off a loss to Rani Yahya in July, but before that he knocked off former ranked bantamweight Alex Caceres in September 2014. The Japanese fighter, who owns a win over Kid Yamamoto, spent most of his career in DEEP and Sengoku. Kanehara, 32, only has two total fights in the UFC, but has been a pro since 2003.

UFC 195 is headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. In the co-main event, heavyweight contenders Andrei Arlovski and Stipe Miocic will face off.