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Report: Ryo Chonan signs with UFC

Dave Meltzer has confirmed on that Ryo Chonan has officially signed with the UFC:

UFC has officially signed Ryo Chonan, a former Pride fighter

Ryo Chonan I guess is going to be another Jeremy Horn in the sense where they import a challenger who holds a previous win over one of their champions who has cleaned out his own division.

When there weren’t a lot of options for Chuck Liddell to fight, they signed Horn just to headline a PPV so that they could sell the past history between the two. If Anderson Silva gets past Rich Franklin again at UFC 77 then I get the feeling that Chonan could be pushed in a similar role.

  • Kris says:

    There were some reports of this a while ago and it gave me the same feeling. His previous win gives the UFC something to market but I can’t see him going right into the title picture because even with a win he simply isn’t known to the majority of fans. I think someone else (Okami, Kampann, etc.) might get a shot at Silva before Chonan gets his chance.

    I think they’ll get him a few UFC fights and have them fight late next year but they run the risk of him going the way of Cro Cop and losing some of his UFC fights and the title bout never materializing.

  • Davey D says:

    Hells Yeah!!! I can’t wait to see his debut. I don’t think he’ll be an instant #1 contender a la’ Horn. But, it will be good to see him fighting for the UFC and make a name for himself.

    I think it’s only right that Hendo get’s to fight the winner of Silva and Franklin. If they offer it to Dan, I hope he takes it.

  • bubbafat says:

    probably the most beautiful heel hook in mma history . pirahna vs silva

  • Jeremy says:

    Wasn’t he rumored to be dropping down to 170lbs. in the UFC though? At least I thought I remember them saying that when Chonan’s name came up a few weeks ago as to signing with the UFC.

  • I’m sure I heard the idea was for Chonan to drop to welterweight. When Cage Rage were looking for a back-up opponent to take on Paul Daley next week (when they feared Mark Weir may not be sitting too pretty after the Thompson fight in Bodog) they were lining up Ryo to fight him at 170.

    Also I think it’s a bit different bringing in Jeremy Horn (who has fought numerous times in UFC and a decent percentage of your fan base will have heard of) to fight your biggest drawing PPV star and company face in Chuck Liddell.

  • Aidan742 says:

    Yeah, that was arguably the best submission finish in the history of the sport. It was on the same card as Mark Hunts infamous atomic butt drop, what a night!

  • Al says:

    If I remember correctly (and knowing my own memory, I’m probably not), wasn’t Chonan getting battered by Silva in that fight, and pulled off a freak (albeit beautifully executed) move, that probably wouldn’t have worked 8 times out of 10?

  • Accomando says:

    “…probably the most beautiful heel hook in mma history …”

    Without a doubt and on the biggest stage. Al, Chonan wasn’t losing at all really, it was a close fight, and he was battering Silva’s lead leg all fight long, which set up the flying heel hook.

    It was spectacular!

  • hbdale309 says:

    He’s coming in at 185.

    Sources undisclosed.

    Seriously though, he is.


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