Erik Koch’s next fight won’t be against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, but it will be against another highly ranked competitor.
“New Breed” will face off against fellow 145-pound contender Ricardo Lamas at UFC 155, the UFC’s year-end show scheduled for Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.
Koch vs. Lamas is expected to join Chris Weidman vs. Tim Boetsch, Gray Maynard vs. Joe Lauzon, Forrest Griffin vs. Phil Davis and the headliner of Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez as the fifth bout on the pay-per-view portion of the card.
Ross Finkelstein first reported news of the match up Twitter. UFC officials later confirmed the featherweight bout.
Koch (13-1) is currently on a four-fight unbeaten streak and is set to compete for the first time since his unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Brookins last September. The American is one of few fighters at 145-pounds that possesses high-level stand up skills. Koch holds knockout power in his hands and feet, and is also no slouch on the ground as over half of his professional victories are by submission. Koch was twice scheduled to fight Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship in 2012, however injuries to Aldo and himself caused the bout to be called off both times and now it appears Koch has missed out on his opportunity.
Lamas (12-2) picked up by the far the biggest victory of his career at UFC on FX 4 in June when he upset Hatsu Hioki -who was ranked No. 2 in the world at 145-pounds at the time- to earn a decision. “The Bully” is 3-0 since joining the UFC in June 2011 and has beat increasing difficult opposition with each win. A win over Koch would mark the third top-10 victory in a row for Lamas and move him very near to a title shot.
UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II goes down Dec. 29 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The main event of the evening will see Junior Dos Santos attempt to make his second heavyweight title defense against former champion Cain Velasquez.