The hype was heavy for the Japanese fighting sensation, as he came into the bout ranked number three in the world at 145-pounds. But could he pay it off against the always game Roop?
Unfortunately, no, he could not. But he did earn himself a split decision victory, much to the chagrin of the crowd inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
This one will be hotly contested for some time to come. Hioki clamed in the post-fight interview that Japanese MMA is not dead. After this bout, he might find more than a few arguments to the contrary.
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Hatsu Hioki Vs. George Roop
Fight was scheduled for 3 rounds (5x5x5)