Former PRIDE veteran welterweight and middleweight Ryo Chonan is expected to return to the Octagon at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 in a 170 pound encounter vs. former IFL veteran Brad Blackburn.
MMA Weekly was the first to report the news, which is citing sources within the camps of both fighters as confirming that Chonan and Blackburn have both agreed to the matchup.
Chonan is 15-8 during an MMA career that dates all the way back to 2001. In addition to competing for PRIDE and the UFC, he has also fought for DEEP and Pancrase in Japan. He holds notable victories over Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton, Joey Villasenor and current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Competing against Silva at PRIDE Shockwave 2004, Chonan pulled off an unlikely flying scissor hook takedown and was immediately able to apply a heel hook that forced Silva to tap. The maneuver that ended the fight is considered by many pundits to be one of the greatest finishes of all-time in MMA.
Chonan made his UFC debut last November at UFC 78, where he lost a unanimous decision to Karo Parisyan. He improved his Octagon record to 1-1 during his most recent fight, a split decision victory against Roan Carneiro at UFC 88 earlier this month.
Blackburn is 12-9-1 overall but posted an impressive 4-2 record in the IFL that included notable wins over current UFC welterweight Chris Wilson and former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron. He made his UFC debut on July 19 at UFC Fight Night 14, where he TKO’d fellow UFC newcomer James Giboo at 2:29 of round 2.