UFC 144 fight card: Joe Lauzon vs Anthony Pettis confirmed for Japan on Feb. 26

The lightweight battle between Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis will go down at UFC 144, which takes place on Feb. 26, 2012, in Japan's Saitama Super Arena, and not at UFC 143 on SuperBowl weekend as previously reported.

MMAFighting.com today confirmed the booking with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials.

Using Lauzon to spruce up the promotion's return to the "Land of the Rising Sun" is a bright idea. In 11 career fights inside the Octagon, "J-Lau" has walked away with nine bonus awards. Even his three UFC losses have been cushioned by "Fight of the Night" bonuses.

He's got a great opponent tailor-made to bring home bonus number 10.

Pettis came to the UFC with a ton of hype, a World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight championship belt and a guaranteed title shot in hand. Then he got pushed out of the way thanks to Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard dueling to a draw, then losing a hard fought decision in his Octagon debut against Clay Guida.

An even closer decision followed against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136, only this time "Showtime" emerged with his hand raised. And for his efforts, he's getting a shot against one of the most seasoned veterans of the lightweight division.

UFC 144 is expected to be headlined by a 155-pound title fight featuring Ben Henderson, fresh off his unanimous decision win over Clay Guida, taking on reigning lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. In addition, Jake Shields returns to action against Yoshihiro Akiyama, while Yushin Okami battled Tim Boetsch in a manly middleweight match up.

For the latest UFC 144 news and notes be sure to check out our complete archive right here.

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