Erik “New Breed’ Koch (13-1-0) vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (12-2-0)
Koch was supposed to take on Jose Aldo at UFC 153, but an injury forced him out of the bout, and Frankie Edgar. The problem is that even when Aldo dropped out due to injury, the fight with Edgar was still made, and now Koch has to prove he still deserves to be the number-one contender. At 5-1 under Zuffa-owned promotions, his only loss comes to top-ranked Chad Mendes.
Lamas had to slowly risen up the ranks. In the WEC he fought as a lightweight, with knockout losses to Danny Castillo and current featherweight Yuri Alcantara. When the opportunity to fight in the UFC came Lamas dropped to 145, and he found the weight he should have been fighting at all along. A head-kick knockout of Matt Grice, arm-triangle choke of Cub Swanson, and the upset victory over top-ranked Hatsu Hioki announced his entry into the top echelon of 145. While many others have asked for a chance to fight for the title, the winner of this bout could be next in line.
Koch has some great kicks in his arsenal, but he may be wary of throwing them due to Lamas’s wrestling background. Even if Lamas takes this fight to the ground, he will have to be careful, as Koch has multiple submission wins and can catch a triangle choke off the bottom. Ultimately, this fight will come down to whose will breaks first. If Lamas is able to maintain top control and beat Koch down he will win, but if Koch can keep it standing then he may be able to out-strike Lamas and knock him out.
The Bottom Line:
Koch takes the fight by knockout in the second round.