George Sotiropoulos (right): Sherdog.com

Two of the UFC’s brightest lightweight prospects will lock horns at UFC 123 on Saturday, as “The Ultimate Fighter” alums George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon meet in a featured bout at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The matchup is heavy with intrigue, as Sotiropoulos represents a significant step up in competition for the budding Lauzon. The Massachusetts native has gone 6-2 during his time with the UFC and has become known for his strong jiu-jitsu game and athleticism. Lauzon burst onto the scene in 2006 when he upset former lightweight king Jens Pulver at UFC 63. Now, the 26-year-old will compete on arguably the biggest stage of his young career, as he throws down in a pivotal 155-pound scrap.

“We're definitely a couple of new guys, and it’s great to be up here [with established UFC stars],” Lauzon said at the UFC 123 pre-fight press conference. “I’m grateful and excited to be up here.”

In Sotiropoulos, Lauzon faces one of his most dangerous opponents to date, as the Aussie holds a wealth of international experience. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has won seven straight fights, including a 6-0 mark in the UFC. His last defeat came against Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki in 2006. Sotiropoulos was disqualified for landing a low blow from which Aoki could not recover. After training for many years all over the world, the 33-year-old is finally ready to break into the mainstream.

“This is the culmination of many years of training, and now I’m finally up here with guys I watched on TV years ago,” said Sotiropoulos.

Whoever wins the matchup stands poised to insert himself into the lightweight division’s title picture, though UFC President Dana White remains noncommittal on the subject.

“I really can’t [comment on the title picture] until that fight happens,” said White. “With [Benson] Henderson and the rest of [the WEC lightweights] coming in, it’s exciting to have more guys in that division.”

Despite noise coming from Lauzon's camp regarding the fairness or lack thereof of Sotiropoulos wearing his trademark ankle sleeves, knee pads and compression shorts, the American, as of late Friday, had yet to file a formal complaint with the state athletic commission. As for Sotiropoulos, he has expressed satisfaction with Lauzon as an opponent. Regarding a possible title shot, the Aussie claims it will be business as usual if and when that opportunity presents itself.

“My intention and goal and lifestyle all stay the same,” said Sotiropoulos. “I'm just fighting, and I want to win. It’s not like that ever changes.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Conor McGregor's Quest to Hold Two UFC Titles (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

The UFC’s long road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor as they prepare. read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz Fighting for History (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 14 views

The UFC’s road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. read news >>

A Look Inside Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson's Preparations (UFC 205 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

The UFC’s long road to New York culminates with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Go behind the scenes with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson as they prepare. read news >>

'UFC 205: On the Ground,' No. 2: Conor McGregor and his big Irish, uh, boasts – yeah, boasts

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

NEW YORK – The UFC’s long-awaited return to New York is in full swing, and Conor McGregor brought the heat, as usual. Get caught up from “On the Ground” in New York.Filed under: Featured, Featured Vi read news >>

'UFC 205: On the Ground,' No. 3: Let's take a look back at a wild, heated UFC 205 eve

  • 24 days ago
  • 14 views

NEW YORK – The UFC’s long-awaited return to New York is in full swing, and on the eve of UFC 205, things got a little wild and heated.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

'UFC 205: On the Ground,' No. 3: Let's take a look back at a wild, heated UFC 205 eve

  • 24 days ago
  • 4 views

NEW YORK – The UFC’s long-awaited return to New York is in full swing, and on the eve of UFC 205, things got a little wild and heated.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC 205 'Thrill and Agony' video: The exact, emotional moment Miesha Tate decides to retire

  • 19 days ago
  • 150 views

The UFC’s “Thrill and Agony” videos take us up close and behind the scenes of pay-per-view events, and at UFC 205, the cameras caught a very emotional scene with Miesha Tate.Filed under: Featured, Ne read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 post-fight facts: Gegard Mousasi first to record 4 wins in 2016

  • 16 days ago
  • 12 views

The first half of the UFC’s Saturday doubleheader went down in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the entire card streaming on UFC Fight Pass from SSE Arena.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Hall of Famer B.J. Penn headlines UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix vs. Yair Rodriguez

  • 14 days ago
  • 9 views

The UFC’s return to Arizona in January for its first event of 2017 has its main event. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Horiguchi climbs into Top 3 in new rankings

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 views

There’s a new name within the top three of the UFC’s flyweight rankings. Kyoji Horiguchi’s win at Fight Night Belfast Saturday bumped him up from No. 4 to No. 3, in Monday’s release of the new UFC ra read news >>