Akihiro Gono (27-12-1) will make his Octagon debut against Tamdan McCrory (8-0) at UFC 78 in Newark, N.J., on November 17, according to Sherdog.com.
The PRIDE FC veteran competed at 183 pounds throughout his career; however, he is going to test the waters at 170 pounds against the gangly Binghamton, N.Y., product.
Here's a snip from Gono:
"I know his fight record. I know that he's tall, young and has a long reach.... For my body frame, that weight class was too heavy for me anyway. I felt a bit of pain in my knees and ankles [fighting at a heavier weight class]. My perfect weight may even be 70 kilograms (155 pounds)."
Gono is an accomplished fighter whose last three losses came to notables such as Denis Kang (unanimous decision), Dan Henderson (knockout) and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (technical knockout).
During that same stretch, the Team Grabaka-trained fighter has eight wins, which includes a unanimous decision win over Hector Lomabard — the opponent for Karo Parisyan that same night at the Prudential Arena.
It should be real interesting to see Gono in the welterweight mix, considering he has spent most of his career fighting bigger and stronger opponents.
And it doesn't get much bigger (er, taller) than "The Barncat."
At 6'4," McCrory is exceptionally tall for the division and will no doubt hold a considerable reach advantage over Gono (and most of his other opponents for that matter). The 20-year-old college student and self-described "nerd" has one win in as many attempts inside the Octagon, submitting Pete Spratt (triangle choke) at UFC Fight Night 10 in June of this year.
For the latest rumored UFC 78 fight card click here.