It appears Denis Kang has finally got what he wanted from the UFC after previously failed negotiations. Earlier today, it was announced that Kang has signed a four-fight deal with the organization.
Former PRIDE fighter and current SpiritMC champion Denis Kang has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, American Top Team General Manager Richie Guerriero today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Kang, 31, will likely make his octagon debut in early 2009.
“I just think timing wise, it was a good point in his career (to sign with the UFC),” Guerriero said. “He’s always had his eye on the UFC, but with his commitment to SpiritMC, and with him fighting for PRIDE at the time, it just never happened.”
Obviously, this is a fairly significant addition to the UFC’s middleweight division. Despite suffering losses against three of the world’s top middleweights, Kazuo Misaki, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Gegard Mousasi, in recent years, early speculation has turned towards Kang being a contender to middleweight king Anderson Silva’s title.
And really why not?
Sans Michael Bisping, who is currently being groomed, Yushin Okami, who the UFC would like to avoid if possible, and I suppose Patrick Cote, Anderson Silva has literally decimated every opponent he’s faced in the UFC’s middleweight division. It’s no secret the UFC is short of middleweight title contenders. One big win, perhaps against Marquardt or Leites, and we could see Silva vs. Kang sometime in mid 2009. Of course, getting that big win is definitely not a given.