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Wanderlei v Stann headlines Japan event

ESPN staff
December 13, 2012
Wanderlei Silva always comes to fight © Getty Images

Wanderlei Silva v Brian Stann will headline the UFC's return to Japan as the Axe Murderer heads back to Pride territory.

The UFC confirmed the light-heavyweight match-up late on Wednesday, along with several other fights including Stefan Struve v Mark Hunt. Others included Diego Sanchez v Takanori Gomi and Dong-Hyun Kim v Siyar Bahadurzada.

Wanderlei will forever be a Pride legend following classic encounters with the likes of Rampage Jackson, Dan Henderson, Mirko Cro Cop and Kazushi Sakuraba.

His return to the UFC arguably came too late, in the twilight years of his career, and he therefore sits on a record of three wins and five losses since his 2007 comeback.

Nevertheless, Wanderlei can still pack a punch and he will be a good test for Stann, who needs to bounce back after defeat to Michael Bisping. Both men carry knockout power, so a crowd-pleaser can be expected in Saitama.

Struve v Hunt will act as the co-main event in the heavyweight division, with both men eyeing top contendership, while at 155lbs Sanchez makes his return to lightweight against Gomi.

The welterweight match-up between Kim and Bahadurzada carries plenty of intrigue, with Kim coming off a fine win over Paulo Thiago. Bahadurzada's last rival was also Thiago, so one man stands to propel himself up the ladder on March 3.

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