The cancellation of the UFC Manila card proved to be a blessing in disguise for Australian Alex Volkanovski who will now make his long awaited UFC debut in front of a home-crowd with a full training camp when he faces Japanese fighter Yusuke Kasuya at UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne on November 27.
Volkanovski (13-1) started off his career as a welterweight winning three on the trot, including a stoppage over current UFC fighter Anton Zafir before losing to Corey Nelson, in what has been his only career loss. Since then, Volkanovski has bounced between the featherweight and lightweight divisions where he has wracked up 10 wins in a row.
Impressively, only one of those fights has gone to a decision. He was awarded the Fight News Australia domestic fighter of the year in 2014 and went on to capture the Pacific X-Treme Combat title.
“The Hulk” currently splits his training camps between Freestyle Fighting Gym and Tiger Muay Thai.
Kasuya is no stranger to Australian fighters having previously fought both Damien Brown and Rob Hill. It will be a must win bout for the 26-year-old after losing his UFC debut last year via unanimous decision to Nick Hein. Like Volkanovski, Kasuya was also scheduled to fight on the doomed Manila card.
A former Shooto rookie tournament champion, Kasuya will bring a 9-2-2 record into the bout. The fight will be contested at lightweight.
Also announced for the card earlier today was a flyweight contest between Brisbane based American Ben Nguyen (15-6) and 26-year-old Geane Herrera (9-2).
Nguyen will be looking to stamp his mark in the flyweight division once again after a TKO loss to Louis Smolka back in July. The loss was Nguyen’s first in nine bouts; a run that included back-to-back stoppage wins in the UFC against Alptekin Ozkilic and Ryan Benoit.
Herrera is a Colombian-American fighter who trains out of Team Dark Side and The Spartan Gym in Tampa, Florida. Herrera entered the UFC in 2015 as a 8-0 prospect however lost his debut to Ray Borg via decision before bouncing back to secure a TKO against Joby Sanchez. He dropped his UFC record to 1-2 in June when he lost a unanimous decision to former title challenger Ali Bagautinov.
A lightweight match-up between Damien Brown and Jon Tuck was announced earlier in the day.