UFC Fight Night 39 will have a very interesting bout in its co-main event, as it was just announced that Pride veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri will face former fan favorite Clay Guida. The news was announced by MMA Weekly.
Kawajiri has almost exclusively fought in Japan throughout his MMA career, moving from Shooto to Pride to Dream and competing primarily as a lightweight. He joined the UFC following Dream 18, choking out Sean Soriano at UFC Fight Night 34 and moving to 5-0 as a featherweight.
That effort was good enough to put Kawajiri on the UFC's featherweight rankings, and his strong performance rekindled fans' love for "Crusher." He could launch right into the top 10 and title relevance with a win over "The Carpenter."
Guida, meanwhile, finds himself in dire straits in his MMA career. Since dropping a lightweight top contender bout to eventual champion Benson Henderson in 2011, he has failed to get traction in either the featherweight or lightweight division and is 1-3 in his four most recent fights. While he was regarded as one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC from 2006 through 2009, he has rapidly declined in popularity since 2011.
Given his lackluster performances against Gray Maynard and Hatsu Hioki, which were followed by his devastating knockout loss to Chad Mendes, it's definitely possible he may be fighting for his job.
UFC Fight Night 39 will mark the return of the UFC to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on April 11. The card is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Roy "Big Country" Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. No other fights have been announced, so keep an eye on Bleacher Report for more news as the card grows.