It was his first UFC fight at UFC 137 and Hatsu Hioki had Japanese MMA riding on his shoulders against a very game George Roop.
Hioki and Roop battled back and forth in a very close fight. Hioki eventually came out the victor, having his arm raised in a split decision. The fight was close as Hioki won over two judges, 29-28, and Roop won over the other one 29-28.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
Roop's second round antics, while he kept pressing Hioki, circled away in what seemed to be Hioki being scared of Roop.
What We Learned About Hatsu Hioki
Hioki has a serious ground game and can hold just about anybody on the ground. His striking skills need work though, as he took a few shots from Roop. Hioki also needs to emphasize improvement on the ground game. He should go for more submissions on the ground or at least try some ground-and-pound. He did virtually nothing on the ground besides attempt one Americana.
What We Learned About George Roop
Roop isn't a bad fighter. His striking was awesome tonight and he was able to take Hioki down and hold him to the mat. Roop proved he can hang with the best of them and almost took the fight.
What's Next For Hatsu Hioki?
Hioki will probably get a good featherweight next. I could see a possible fight with Diego Nunes in the near future.
What's Next For George Roop?
Roop could see a fight with another featherweight who appeared at UFC 137, Bart Palaszewski.