Two intriguing lightweight bouts have been added to UFC 223.
Rising 155-pound contenders Paul Felder and Al Iaquinta are set to square off, while veteran fan favourite Joe Lauzon takes on Chris Gruetzemacher in a battle fighters each looking snap a two-fight skid.
The UFC made both matchups official this week.
Felder (15–3) and Iaquinta (13–3–1) were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 218 in December but Iaquinta pulled out with an injury. Felder instead faced Charles Oliveira at that event and utilized elbows to earn a stoppage victory, just as he has in each of his past three fights. Meanwhile, Iaquinta has won five in a row and a win over a talented striker like Felder could put him in the title shot conversation.
Lauzon (27–14) is coming off a surprising 67-second TKO loss to Clay Guida in November and has dropped five of his last eight dating back to 2015. Gruetzemacher (13–3) is 1-2 in the UFC and could be fighting for his spot on the roster. The 31-year-old has lost back-to-back fights via rear-naked choke and Lauzon has 18 career submission victories, four of which were rear-naked chokes.
UFC 223 takes place April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Here’s an early look at the card…
— Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (lightweight title fight)
— Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (women’s strawweight title fight)
— Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
— Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
— Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon