Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com has announced that the UFC has signed PRIDE veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and his debut will come against Ryoto Machida at UFC 79: Nemisis.
“Sokoudjou is an explosive athlete with heavy hands and great judo who is coming off huge back-to-back knockout wins over two top ten guys in Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira,” said UFC President Dana White. “Bringing him in just makes the stacked 205-pound division even stronger, and there are endless great matchups for him here in the UFC.”
“The African Assassin” (4-1) stormed onto the MMA scene in February when he destroyed top ranked light heavyweight, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, at PRIDE 33: Second Coming. Sokoudjou solidified his status as a top ten light heavyweight two months later at PRIDE 34: Kamikaze when he defeated BTT’s Ricardo Arona early in the first round.
“I’m looking very forward to this fight,” said Machida. “I know Sokoudjou doesn’t have a lot of fights, but the fights he’s had are big, and he has beaten some very big names in this sport. I think this is going to be a great fight, and I am looking forward to winning this fight, and to moving on and fighting for the UFC title.”
Sokoudjou is a native of Cameroon who currently trains with Dan Henderson at Team Quest in Temecula, California. Sokoudjou is a highly regarded judoka who won the 2001 US Open.
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