When Leonard Garcia fell out of his planned bout against Tiequan Zhang due to injury, it was widely believed that Nam Phan would be tapped to fill the void.
That is not the case, however, as UFC officials on Saturday night announced that Krazy Bee fighter Issei Tamura would face Zhang at UFC 144 on Feb. 26 in Japan.
Tamura (6-2) is a bit out of the ordinary for a fighter making his UFC debut. The Japanese fighter has lost two of his last three bouts, including his most recent, and has a penchant for going to decision in his fights.
Tamura is a product of Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto’s Krazy Bee gym in Tokyo. He has fought his entire professional career for the Shooto organization.
Zhang (15-2) is also 1-2 in his last three fights and will look to get back on track in what will surely be hostile territory at the Saitama Super Arena.
UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar puts his title on the line against Benson Henderson in the UFC 144 main event.