Will UFC 144 be the final time that Tiequan Zhang competes in the UFC? Since he signed with the WEC back in 2010, the "Mongolian Wolf" has not lived up to the hype surrounding his stateside debut. Picking up wins against less than stellar competition and losing whenever he takes a step up, fans have been wondering how long Joe Silva and the UFC can keep him around for. Tiequan Zhang (15-2, 1-1 UFC) takes on UFC newcomer Issei Tamura (6-2, 0-0 UFC).
Neither fighter is currently ranked on the USA Today / BE Consensus rankings, and a win for either will not change that. Zhang and Tamura used to be considered decent prospects but recently have showed that neither is really able to fight at a high and consistent level. This featherweight fight kicks off UFC 144 on the Facebook portion of the card and is the only fight streaming on the social media site. The fight's are scheduled for 7:30 PM ET on Facebook.
How these two stack up?
Zhang: 33 years old | 5'9" | 69.0" reach
Tamura: 27 years old | 5'5"
What have these two done recently?
Tamura: L - Guy Demuleau (DEC) | W - Katsuya Toida (KO) | L - Taiki Tsuchiya (DEC)
How these two got here?
Tiequan Zhang was a member of the WEC's lightweight division. His signing was significant as he is the first Chinese-born fighter to be signed by Zuffa around a time when discussions of promoting a show in Asia were picking up. Zhang was considered one of the top fighters out of China with a record of 13-0 before making his stateside debut. Since then he's split his fights with wins over Pablo Garzo and Jason Reinhardt while dropping fights to Darren Elkins and Danny Downes.
Issei Tamura won the Shooto Rookie tournament in 2008 and with the tournament win, he was announced as the Shooto Rookie of the Year. Since those three wins, Tamura has been on a bit of a slide winning only three times in his last five fights. Thought he's still not incredibly experienced, he possesses fight-changing power in his hands and above-average grappling. It should also be noted that he trains along side Kim Yamamota at the Krazy Bee camp.
Why should you care?
It's a free fight on Facebook. Seriously, that's the only reason to bother watching this fight.