Two UFC veterans will be on the undercard of the season 8 Bellator opener. Jason Lambert will take on Hector Ramirez in a battle to eventually win their way into a Bellator tournament. Bellator 85 takes place in Irvine, California on January 17th and is headlined by two title fights. Champion Pat Curran returns from injury to take on Patricio Freire, and Michael Chandler defends his belt for the first time against Rick Hawn. Plus, the current light-heavyweight tournament starts on this card.

Jason Lambert’s biggest win of his career has to be the knockout of Renato Sobral, but unfortunately that has been followed by one of the toughest times of his career. He went on a three fight losing streak, getting finished in each loss, leading to his release from the UFC. Things have not gotten better, because he has only went 2-3 since, in a four-year span. He now has a big chance to reassert himself in a big way with a win in Bellator. The right kind of exposure could land him a spot in the future 205 tournament.

Hector Ramirez is the reverse of Jason Lambert’s situation. Yes, he was dropped from the UFC after two losses, but fighting James Irvin and Forrest Griffin on short notice is no small task. In the time since his release, he went 3-1, but having not fought in nearly two years could affect him. The crowd is sure to be mixed in this match. With Lambert hailing from Long Beach, and Ramirez from East LA – they are sure to have fans in the crowd. Sometimes the best matches are between fighters who feel they have something to prove, and this bout has the ingredients for a great fight written all over it.