Shooto World Champion Hatsu Hioki to return at SRC 14 against Jeff Lawson

Hatsu Hioki will return to Sengoku Raiden Champiionship at SRC 14. His opponent on the card, which takes place Aug. 22 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, will be TUF veteran Jeff Lawson. reported the fight over the weekend and citied a Japanese-language source.

In his last bout, Hioki took a split decision and the Shooto 143-pound title from Takeshi Inoue. Last year, Hioki earned a spot in the finals of the SRC featherweight tournament, but could not fight due to an injury. He returned and faced finalist Michihiro Omigawa in a number-one-contenders bout and came up short. However, Omigawa has left SRC with the rest of Yoshida Dojo thus leaving Hioki as the top challenger for Marlon Sandro’s championship.

Over the course of his career, Hioki has scored victories over Rumina Sato, Masanori Kanehara, Mark Hominick and Jeff Curran.

Lawson earned a spot on Michael Bisping’s team on the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” by defeating James Bryan. In his first bout in the actual competition, Jason Dent submitted the British fighter with an anaconda choke in the second round. Since the show, Lawson has gone 2-1 with a submission victory over David Lee in his last bout.

Headlining SRC 14 will be a middleweight title rematch. Jorge Santiago will defend his belt against Kazuo Misaki. Santiago defeated Misaki for the vacant championship back in 2009. The card also features the lightweight debut of Akihiro Gono, bouts in a welterweight tournament and bantamweight tournament bouts.

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