Spike TV today announced that their UFC 118 "Prelims Live" telecast will include bouts featuring local boys Joe Lauzon as he takes on Terry Etim, and Jorge Rivera, who is slated to battle Alessio Sakara.
UFC 118 is set for August 28 from the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.
Lauzon came up empty against the resurgent Sam Stout at UFC 108: "Evans vs. Silva" back on January 8. It was only the second loss for the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 contestant since his stunning debut under the Zuffa banner against Jens Pulver way back in September 2006.
"J-Lau" has been training with BJ Penn in Hawaii and will need to be at 100-percent to overcome the hard-hitting Etim.
The Brit had quietly assembled a four-fight winning streak starting with a unanimous decision victory over Sam Stout at UFC 89: "Bisping vs. Leben;" however, Rafael dos Anjos put an end to his winning ways with a textbook armbar submission at last month's UFC 112: "Invincible" pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi.
He'll need to concentrate on submission defense for a second straight bout if he hopes to deny Lauzon the win.
After toiling with mediocrity for just about five years in more than 10 fights, switching weight classes and training camps, Alessio Sakara appeared to be on the verge of his big break, getting matched up against former number one contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 116 on July 3 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Unfortunately, the Italian striker had to pull out of the contest with "The Great" due to the untimely death of his father. The fight with Rivera was announced shortly thereafter.
"Legionarius" has put together a decent win streak over the last few months. Having defeated the likes of Thales Leites at UFC 101 and most recently James Irvin at UFC on Versus 1, Sakara had put himself in position to really climb up the middleweight ladder.
Rivera is coming off a dismantling of Nate Quarry at UFC Fight Night 21 back in March and has won three straight bouts raising his professional record to 18-7.
The longtime UFC veteran now has a career mark of 7-5 in the UFC, with his knockout win over the "Rock" perhaps being his best performance yet. If he can outstrike Sakara at the end of August, the 38-year old would likely find himself fighting with the big boys of the UFC middleweight division.
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