Karo Parisyan (17-4) is likely to return to action at UFC 78 on November 17 and could face PRIDE FC veteran Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (30-7-2) in a welterweight showdown, according to MMAWeekly.com.
Here's the snip:
"UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan ... will most likely fight on the upcoming UFC taking place in New Jersey ... One name that has been mentioned amongst possible opponents is Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, who would be making his return to the UFC at 170lbs."
Sakurai is an outstanding fighter who would be making his first appearance inside the Octagon since a technical knockout loss to Matt Hughes in a championship bout at UFC 36 in 2002. The Japanese star was most recently spotted ringside at UFC 73: "Stacked" last month.
Throughout his career "Mach" has gone up against some of the most talented fights in the sport, from lighweight all the way up to middleweight. In addition to Hughes, he's competed against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva (loss), Jake Shields (loss) Ryo Chonan (loss), Joachim Hansen (win), Shinya Aoki (win), Takanori Gomi (loss), Frank Trigg (win), Jens Pulver (win) and Caol Uno (win) among so many others.
Put simply, he's one of the best in the business, whether he wins or loses.
Parisyan is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Josh Burkman at UFC 71 this past May and has won seven of his last eight fights. He's done enough to earn himself a crack at the welterweight crown, but it's widely belived he'll have to secure at least one if not two more wins before he gets the chance.
That's because current 170-pound champion Matt Serra is booked to defend the strap against Matt Hugehs on New Year's Eve weekend in December. Then, the winner or that fight, will more than likely draw the winner of the UFC 74 showdown between Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck.
The article also mentions that UFC newcomer Hector Lombard has been mentioned as a possible opponent for "The Heat." That doesn't sound nearly as appealing as a fight between Parisyan and Sakurai, however.