A bantamweight battle between Leandro Issa (11-3) and Russell Doane (12-3) has been added to the UFC Fight Night 34 fight card, which is set for the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on Jan. 4. The event airs on Jan. 3 in the United States due to the time difference.
Issa is originally from Brazil, but is based longterm in Singapore where he is a member of the fight team at Evolve MMA. He had been competing for ONE FC, but was released from his contract in order to sign with the UFC.
Doane hails from Hawaii and will also be making his UFC debut. He will be one of a number of PXC veterans on the card in Singapore and recently became the interim Tachi Palace Fights 135-pound champion by beating Jared Papazian by fourth-round TKO.
Issa is a BJJ black belt who won a gold medal at the 2004 Mundials. When he arrived in Singapore, he was primarily a grappler, but his striking has improved rapidly under the tutelage of the team of Muay Thai world champions at Evolve MMA.
This will be Issa’s seventh fight in Singapore and he registered wins over the likes of Soo Chul Kim, Masakazu Imanari, and Yusup Saadulaev during his four-fight stint with ONE FC, although he was stopped by Kim in the second round of their 2012 rematch, which had the inaugural 135-pound belt on the line.
A member of 808 Top Team in Hawaii, Doane made his debut in 2008 with a win over Tyson Nam. He has also won titles with X-1, King of the Cage, and Destiny MMA, and has a background in boxing and wrestling.
Issa and Doane will be among at least 13 fighters making their UFC debuts in Singapore with Tatsuya Kawajiri currently without an opponent after Hacran Dias was forced to withdraw due to injury.
UFC Fight Night 34 has already undergone one enforced reshuffle after a hamstring injury to Jake Ellenberger moved Hyun Gyu Lim to face Tarec Saffiedine in the main event. Luiz “Besouro” Dutra drafted in to take the Korean’s place against fellow newcomer Kiichi Kunimoto.
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