The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday confirmed its planned return to Manchester, England, on Nov. 14 for UFC 105. Also announced were bouts featuring British superstar Michael Bisping facing Denis Kang in the middleweight division, as well as a welterweight bout pitting Dan Hardy against Dong Hyun Kim.
"Kang is a very good fighter and one of the best in the division," said Bisping, winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 3. "This is exactly the sort of fight I need to get right back up there and prove that I'm one of the top guys in the division.
"Both Kang and I are looking to take that next step up the ladder to the top of the division, and there's so much on the line for both of us," added 'The Count.' "I have things to prove and cannot wait to go in all guns blazing in front of my hometown fans in Manchester."
Bisping (17-2) is coming off a devastating loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100. For all intents and purposes, the loss took Bisping out of the running for a shot at current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. He had previously been on a three-fight streak since moving down to the 185-pound division.
Following a disappointing Octagon debut, being submitted by Alan Belcher, Kang (32-11-1) bounced back with a unanimous decision over Xavier Foupa-Pokam at UFC 97 earlier this year.
"Kim is technically unbeaten and, while he's been under pressure in his career, has always found a way to win," said Hardy. "I will have to break him. He can boss you on the ground for 15 minutes and that will be his plan.
"But I plan to put a beating on this guy that is so nasty and so one-sided it will be uncomfortable viewing for all the other welterweights in the UFC... I don't want a decision, I guarantee a knockout in this one."
Hardy (22-6) is quickly becoming one of the more exciting British prospects in the UFC. He has reeled off three straight victories since his arrival at UFC 89, typically counted on for excitement both in and out of the Octagon.
Kim (12-0-1) also has three UFC victories under his belt. He had been on the losing end in a bout with Karo Parisyan at UFC 94, but Parisyan was subsequently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for the use of painkillers and the bout was changed to a "no contest."
Tickets for UFC 105 go on sale to the general public on Monday, Sept. 14. Both Bisping and Hardy will be on hand signing autographs at the MEN Arena box office beginning at 5:30 p.m. the day tickets go on sale.
A main event for UFC 105 has yet to be announced.