Mousasi (37-5-2) is a former Strikeforce and Dream champion, but has had a difficult time getting to a UFC championship bout. He’s been close a couple of times, but was derailed by both Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
Since the loss to Jacare, Mousasi has strung together back-to-back victories over former Pride champion Dan Henderson and, more recently, Costas Philippou. A win over Carneiro doesn’t carry the same weight as a win over Machida or Jacare would have, but ending the Brazilian’s streak would keep Mousasi in the title talk mix.
For Carneiro (20-9), a victory over Mousasi would be the biggest feather in his cap to date. Currently on a six-fight winning streak, this will only be Carneiro’s second UFC bout since his return to the Octagon, but adding Mousasi to his hit list would certainly rocket him into the upper echelon of the middleweight division.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship in May announced its return to Japan with a heavyweight headliner featuring Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson, as well as a new reality show. UFC Fight Night Japan will take place on Sept. 27 at the Saitama Super Arena, headlined by Barnett vs. Nelson.
In addition to the live event, the UFC also confirmed a brand new reality TV show, Road to UFC: Japan, which will follow eight Japanese mixed martial arts hopefuls, who will be competing against each other for the opportunity to win a UFC contract.
The eight athletes will train in both their hometowns and in Las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter Gym under the guidance of coaches Barnett and Nelson. The coaches and two finalists will then fight at the Japanese event.