A new published report states that “Professor X” Xavier Foupa-Pokam is the newest addition to the UFC’s middleweight division. Foupa-Pokam has also reportedly signed to make his UFC debut in April at UFC 97 against Denis Kang.
Foupa-Pokam, 20-9, won last week at Palace Fighting Championships 12 with a first round knockout over Kyacey Uscola following a flying knee to the body. The 26-year old French native has won 12 of his last 13 fights and has competed for the DEEP, Cage Rage, and Jungle Fight promotions.
His opponent, Kang, fell to 31-11-1 following a second round submission defeat against Alan Belcher at UFC 93 earlier this month. A native of Canada, Kang at one point was ranked as a top ten middleweight by all of the major rankings polls in existence. The former PRIDE superstar earned a reputation as one of the world’s best with notable victories over Andrei Semenov, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Amar Suloev, and Akihiro Gono.
UFC 97 is set to take place on Saturday, April 18 and will emanate from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. In addition to Foupa-Pokam vs. Kang, the card is set to be headlined by Anderson Silva defending his UFC middleweight title vs. Thales Leites. Additionally, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will return to action against former PRIDE star Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Other reported matchups for UFC 97 include David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman, Brian Stann vs. Krzysztof Soszynski, Luiz Cane vs. Steve Cantwell, Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden, T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan, Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry, and Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman.