Doo Ho Choi makes his long awaited debut, meets Sam Sicilia at UFC 173 in Las Vegas

A Featherweight bout has been booked for the UFC’s upcoming event in Las Vegas, scheduled to take place later this year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 24th.

Korean sensation Doo Ho Choi makes his long awaited promotional debut, while TUF alumni Sam Sicilia looks to get back in the win column following his last outing.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the match-up with Fight Sport Asia on Thursday.

Doo Ho Choi (11-1) is one of Asia’s brightest young stars. Having competed on the Japanese circuit with DEEP, Choi now turns his attention to a new challenge, as he looks to establish himself stateside when he steps into the Octagon for the first time.

The 22-year-old phenom is currently on a 9-fight win streak, with seven of those coming by way of KO/TKO. So it’s clear to see why the UFC’s latest Korean import already has a legion of fans behind him.

Choi, who despite his young age has has already made an impact on the Asian MMA scene having fought the likes of Kosuke Umeda, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Nobuhiro Obiya, Tatsunao Nagakura and Shoji Maruyama throughout his career.

The Gumi MMA affiliate had an incredible 2013, that saw the Korean prospect throw not one, but two Fight of the Year candidates into the discussion when he took on the aforementioned Tatsunao Nagakura & Shoji Maruyama under the DEEP banner, finishing his opponents in impressive fashion.

Since Fight Sport Asia first reported the official signing of Choi back in November of last year. Doo Ho Choi had a bit of a set back following an injury to his shoulder, but has since had it fully rehabilitated. Now the hard-hitting Korean is ready to mix it up with the UFC’s 145-lb division, and his first hurdle will be against Sam Sicilia this May.

Sam Sicilia (12-4) a cast member of  “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” who lost in the preliminary rounds to Chris Saunders, impressed the UFC brass enough to get a shot on the big stage.

Since making his way over to the UFC, Sicilia opened up his debut by knocking out Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and fellow cast member Cristiano Marcello. Fast-forward two years on and Sicilia has amassed a 2-3 resume fighting under the UFC lights.

Most recently the 28-year-old returned to the cage at the turn of the year against American Top Team product Cole Miller, where he fell short to the talented grappler losing the contest in the second round via Submission.

Prior to the fight Sam got back on track following back-to-back losses after making quick work of the one-dimensional Godofredo Castro in his opponents native Brazil to silence the crowd.

In a must win fight, Sicilia looks erase his most recent outing and now make a statement against the aggressive newcomer, as Doo Ho Choi aims to keep his impressive run of wins in tact, while getting his first win outside of Asia and making strides towards the Featherweight title.

*UFC 173 will be headlined by a pair of Middleweights, as Chris Weidman (11-0) looks to defend his crown against number one contender Vitor Belfort (24-10) who’s earned his shot, having gone 3-0 for last year, that saw the Brazilian dispose of competition in devastating fashion, that included him being the first man to ever knockout Dan Henderson.

Ultimate Fighting Championship, 5/24/14
“UFC 173”
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

Middleweight title
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort

Bantamweight Bout
Chris Holdsworth vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Featherweight Bout
Sam Sicilia vs. Doo Ho Choi

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Photo credit: Dean Marchand
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Categories: Asian MMA, DEEP, Featured, MMA, South Korea, UFC

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