Another bout has been added to the rumored lineup for UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7th at The Pearl in Las Vegas as “The Ultimate Fighter 5” semi-finalist Joe Lauzon takes on former lightweight challenger Hermes Franca.
MMAMania.com first reported the potential lightweight main card bout yesterday.
After defeating former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver in his UFC debut, Lauzon appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, advancing to the semi-finals before being ousted by eventual runner-up Manny Gamburyan. After submitting Brandon Melendez on the show’s finale, Lauzon moved to Hawaii to train full time with BJ Penn. Following a first-round submission of Jason Reinhardt, Lauzon was TKO’d by Kenny Florian in mid-2008 but bounced back with a second-round TKO of Kyle Bradley at UFC Fight Night 15 in September.
After four-straight UFC victories and eight-straight overall Franca challenged then lightweight champion Sean Sherk for the 155-pound title, but was defeated by unanimous decision. Following the fight, Franca tested positive steroids and was suspended from competition for one year. After losing to Frankie Edgar in a “Fight of the Night” at UFC Fight Night 14 in July, Franca rebounded to top Marcus Aurelio via unanimous decision at UFC 90 in October.
Also slated for UFC Fight Night 17 is Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer and Amir Sadollah vs. Nick Catone.