There was a certain expectation in the minds of hardcore fans when Japanese featherweight kingpin Hatsu Hioki stepped into the Octagon this past Saturday at UFC 137 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many of us hoped for a definitive answer to a question while others sought to lay more bricks onto the foundation of an argument that has become more prevalent as time has passed. Can Japanese fighters compete with their American counterparts?
Over the past few years, the answer has been a resounding no. Nearly every single high-level Japanese mixed martial artist who trains extensively in