Last night Elite XC announced that its middleweight champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler (16-4) will defend his 185-pound title against Joey Villasenor (26-6) in the main event for the November 8 fight card that will air live on Showtime.
This bout will mark the third title defense for Lawler since he took it from "Ninja" Rua last September.
Lawler and Villasenor have locked horns once before in a mixed martial arts match at Pride FC 32: "The Real Deal" in October 2006. Lawler handed Villasenor a 22-second knockout loss with a perfectly placed flying knee right out of the gate.
Since then Villasenor has won four of five fights, including wins over Phil Baroni, Ryan Jensen, Riki Fikuda and David Loiseau. The only loss was to "Ninja" last June in a match that decided the first-ever Elite XC middleweight champion.
Villasenor had his chances in that fight, but fell victim to a late second round technical knockout. Since that loss, he's worked tirelessly to climb back up the championship ladder, and now once again finds himself only one win away from becoming a world champion.
For Lawler, since winning the belt over "Ninja" last year, he's been busy with back-to-back fights against Scott Smith. The first time the two met was Lawler's first title defense, during the Elite XC network debut on CBS on May 31.
The fight turned into an all out war and stole the show as the fight of the night in Newark. The outcome, however, was disappointing to say the least. After getting an inadvertant thumb to the eye, a cageside doctor deemed Scott Smith unable to continue and the bout was ruled a no contest.
The rematch two months later was a much easier fight for Lawler and he put the stamp down on Smith with some nasty body shots, earning a second round stoppage.
Now he's set to defend his belt for the third time. And if there's anybody who deserves to challenge for it, it's Joey Villasenor.
With the way these two have been fighting lately, it's more likely we're in store for a fight similar to Lawler vs. Smith I as opposed to Lawler vs. Villasenor I.
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante is also rumored to be facing Cyrille "Snake" Diabate for the first ever Elite XC light heavyweight championship on this card as well.
There is no venue confirmed at this time for the event. It will be the last event for the promotion in 2008.