MMA: Japan's Yuta Sasaki geared up for 'home' win at next month's UFC Fight Night Singapore

SINGAPORE - Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Yuta Sasaki looks to return to winning ways when he takes on American Justin Scoggins next month at the UFC Fight Night Singapore.

Both men will feature in the June 17 live event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event, headlined by the Holly Holm-Bethe Correia fight, will showcase a total of 10 bouts.

Speaking to Asian media on Friday (May 19) in a teleconference call from New York, Sasaki said: "I'm emphasising a lot on my striking game. I'll be evolved as a better MMA fighter, so (in the) upcoming fight against Justin Scoggins, I think I can show the fans a higher level of MMA competition."

The 27-year-old, who turned professional in 2010, believes that he has to beat Scoggins to crack into the UFC flyweight top 15 rankings.

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The Numazu-native is aiming to make it two wins from his last three matches. The submission specialist's rear-naked choke against American Willie Gates in May last year gave him victory in Rotterdam.

His last fight earlier in February ended in defeat though through a unanimous decision after facing the current flyweight No. 4 Brazilian Wilson Reis.

Sasaki, who boasts a 19-4 win-loss record, is counting on the backing of the home crowd to propel him to victory in Singapore.

He said: "I'm hoping that Singapore fans will consider me a fighter from home since I'm from Asia.

"This is the first time I'm visiting Singapore, so I honestly don't know what to expect, but I'm really looking forward to fight in Singapore."