Erik Koch will try for his fifth straight win in February. | Photo: Dave Mandel


A pivotal featherweight scrap between prospects Dustin Poirier and Erik Koch will go down at UFC 143, promotion officials announced Tuesday.

Verbal agreements are in place for the 145-pound showdown, which is slated to take place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Airing live on pay-per-view, the card is expected to be headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Nick Diaz.

Just 23 years old, Koch (Pictured) holds a record of 13-1 and has won four fights in a row. The World Extreme Cagefighting import has been perfect in his two-fight UFC stint thus far, recording wins over Raphael Assuncao and Jonathan Brookins in March and September, respectively.

Though the Roufusport product earned a first-round knockout over Assuncao, his victory over Brookins would not come as quickly. The game “Ultimate Fighter” winner battled Koch for a full 15 minutes before losing a hard-fought unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 25.

Like his foe, Poirier is also regarded as one of the featherweight division’s fastest-rising stars.

The 22-year-old has been bested only once as a pro, falling to Danny Castillo at 155 pounds. Since that defeat, “The Diamond” has posted four straight wins, three of which have come inside the Octagon. After battering highly regarded Josh Grispi in his January UFC debut, Poirier took a competitive unanimous decision over Jason Young before submitting Pablo Garza with a brabo choke last Saturday at UFC on Fox 1.

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