New featherweight bout booked for Super Bowl card
With rising featherweight contender Erik Koch out with a training injury, a bully with back-to-back finishes has stepped up to face Dustin Poirier.
Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas will fill in for Koch at UFC 143 in February. The UFC announced the new fight booking early Wednesday, saying verbal agreements are in place for the fight on the Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas.
Lamas (11-2, 2-0 UFC) has found great success since dropping down to featherweight for his UFC debut earlier this year. In June, the suburban Chicago-based fighter knocked out Matt Grice in his first fight since the WEC-UFC merger with a head kick and follow-up strikes late in the first round. And on the first UFC on Fox card last month, Lamas won Submission of the Night honors for his second-round arm triangle comeback win over Cub Swanson. Before joining the UFC in the merger, Lamas went 4-2 as a lightweight in the UFC, including a win over Bart Palaszewski.
Poirier (11-1, 3-0 UFC) comes into the bout on a four-fight winning streak, including three straight since making his featherweight debut in the UFC at the start of the year. At UFC 125, he upset Josh Grispi with a dominant unanimous decision, ending Grispi’s hopes for a shot at Jose Aldo’s featherweight title. At UFC 131 in June, he beat Jason Young by unanimous decision. And at the first UFC on Fox event last month, he submitted Pablo Garza with a D’Arce choke in the second round – though Lamas beat him out for the Submission of the Night bonus on the same card. Poirier is a student of UFC fighter Tim Credeur in Louisiana.
UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and features a main event interim welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz with champ Georges St-Pierre on the shelf for much of 2012 following surgery on his ACL.