UFC picks up Shooto champion Hernani Perpetuo and Heat champ Kiichi Kunimoto

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC signing rumor mill has been running hot this week, but it's an unexpected,and long awaited, fighter that is first to be confirmed.

Hernani Perpetuo has been a hot prospect for quite a while now. Making his debut back in 2005, he went 9-3 on his way to winning the Shooto Brazil welterweight title in 2010 and then rattled off another eight wins on his way to the Shooto world title in in August of this year. Training out of Nova Uniao and still only 28 years of age Perpetuo has everything necessary to make a big impact in the UFC. Combate reports his signing.

At 6' 0" he's got great size for welterweight and carries a nice mix of skills with seven wins by KO/TKO, four by submission, and five by decision. He has wins over some decent competition in Tommy Depret, Andre Santos, Edilberto de Oliveira, and Daniel Acacio. Watching him fight, he's sort of a mashup of the best and worst of Brazilian strikers. He pops in and out of range with a strong jab and leg kicking game, but seems more likely to brawl than throw actual combinations. He strikes well out of either stance (still something of a rarity in MMA) and while his footwork isn't always on point he moves well in the ring. He also has a nice arsenal of spinning kicks that he deploys liberally in his fights. In some ways he reminds me a bit of Carlos Condit, although perhaps less crisp with his hands. It's hard to get a good bead on his ground game as he prefers to strike, but from what I've seen he tends to stall off his back rather than improve position. It's hard to know how much that's changed over time.

Fight Sport Asia reports that he will be joined in the welterweight division by submission specialist and Heat MMA champion Kiichi Kunimoto. Kunimoto is a Pancrase vet sporting a 15-5-2 (1 NC) record. He'll be entering the UFC on a four fight win streak, his most recent being over UFC vet Edward Faaloloto. At 5' 10" he's a tiny bit undersized for welterweight, so he may not have a long term home in the division, but at 32 years of age, he may be a bit too established in his weight class to want to make the cut. He trains out of the Cobra Kai Dojo, responsible for producing another recent UFC fighter, Motonobu Tezuka.

While he struggled a bit early in his career, his only loss since 2009 is to top Pancrase fighter Takenori Sato by decision. His resume is still a bit underwhelming however, with Hiroki Tanaka representing the high point of his wins thus far. Unfortunately it's hard to find almost any footage of him fighting. From what I have seen he certainly has had the potential to be a decent fighter. He appears athletic and has some crisp strikes, but footage I've found is all so old as to be largely irrelevant in figuring out what he'll look like in his UFC debut.

No dates or opponents have been set for either fighter, but here's some footage of Perpetuo to get us better acquainted with him:

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