Kuniyoshi Hironaka (11-3) revealed in a recent message on Kakuto.com that he will face Thiago Alves (11-3) in a welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night 11 on September 20.
This will be the first fight for Alves since he routed tough veteran Tony DeSouza with a second-round knockout (knee) at UFC 66 in December 2006.
Following the win, however, it was discovered that Alves tested positive for a banned substance -- Spironolactone -- and he was subsequently suspended for eight months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Spironolactone is a diuretic that Alves ingested to ensure that he made the 170-pound weight limit.
Hironaka is a gritty blackbelt in Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Forest Petz at UFC Fight Night 9 in April. He boasts a solid resume as a Shooto fighter in Japan prior to his Octagon debut at UFC 64 (a loss to Jon Fitch).
This is a solid match up. Remember, Alves was on the rise before he got popped by the NSAC. And Hironaka is a very difficult opponent to meet after such a long layoff.
UFC Fight Night 11 takes place at the The Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and features another great showdown between lightweights Spencer Fisher and Din Thomas.