UFC's first foray to Singapore has added a new bout between two featherweight prospects.
As sources close to the fighter confirmed with BloodyElbow.com earlier this week, the UFC has signed Will Chope (19-5) a former URCC champion who at 6-foot-4 is known for being the "World's Tallest Featherweight". The 23-year-old American has been living in different countries in Asia for the past few years, and is considered as one of the adopted stars coming out of Baguio, Philippines. He has made a name for himself in the region and has won 14 straight fights, with his most recent bout being an impressive TKO win over Featherweight King of Pancrase, Takumi Nakayama at PXC 40.
He is set to make his debut at UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore, and as confirmed by Lili of MMA-in-Asia, his opponent will be unbeaten prospect Bekbulat Magomedov (11-0). The Russian fighter is only two years into his young MMA career, but has been on a tear as of late. He has finished every opponent he faced and has already won 7 fights in 2013 alone, with all but one coming by first round stoppages.
Magomedov was earlier announced to be in a Featherweight title fight at RUFF 11 against Chinese star Wang Guan, but it looks like he has since reneged on the fight for a slot at the UFC stage. UFC Fight Night 34 happens on January 4, and it will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Jake Ellenberger and Tarec Saffiedine.
UPDATE: There could be a wrench to these plans. Despite news of his signing, RUFF officials have said that the Wang Guan vs. Bekbulat Magomedov fight is still on. The UFC is known for respecting fighter contracts, so it is possible that Magomedov hasn't informed them about the RUFF fight he had before signing the deal.
Check out the current fight card below:
UFC Fight Night 34: Singapore
January 4, 2014 -- Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine [5 rounds]
Hacran Dias vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Shunichi Shimizu
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Quinn Mulhern
Will Chope vs. Bekbulat Magomedov