UFC officials on Friday announced that a welterweight bout between John Hathaway and Dong Hyun Kim would headline the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale. The event is slated for March 1 at the CotaiArena at the Venetian Resort in Macau.
Like this weekend’s UFC Singapore, the TUF China Finale will stream live on UFC Fight Pass, the promotion’s new digital subscriber platform.
This marks the second time that Hathaway and Kim have been scheduled to fight, the first being UFC 120 in October 2010. Kim was forced out of their first meeting due to an injury. Hathaway went on to lose a decision to Mike Pyle.
Their meeting at the TUF China Finale will be a five-round, non-title affair.
Hathaway (17-1) appeared to be rocketing into the UFC welterweight title picture before the fight with Pyle. He was undefeated, including four victories in the Octagon. He bounced back from the loss by winning his next three fights, but has been out of action for nearly a year-and-a-half.
A victory over Kim would go a long way towards putting Hathaway back into the title talk mix.
Kim (18-2-1, 1 NC) has one of the lengthier tenures in the UFC, although it seems he’s flown under the radar for a good bit of it. The South Korean has been fighting in the Octagon since 2008, but despite wins over Matt Brown, Nate Diaz, and TJ Grant, he has stumbled at crucial points in his career.
Kim got knocked out by Carlos Condit at UFC 132, bounced back with a victory over Sean Pierson, but then got stopped by Demian Maia.
He is currently on a three-fight winning streak that includes victories over Paulo Thiago, Siyar Bahadurzada, and Erick Silva. Following those with a win over Hathaway would push Kim a few rungs up the welterweight ladder, once again making him a serious contender.
A featherweight bout between Hatsu Hioki and Ivan Menjivar has also rumored for the TUF China Finale. TopMMANews.com first reported the Hioki vs. Menjivar bout, although UFC officials have yet to confirm the fight.
The TUF China Finale will also host the finals of the season’s welterweight and featherweight tournaments.