MMAJunkie.com has learned that a lightweight match up between Nik Lentz and Tyson Griffin has been made official for the upcoming UFC 123 event to be held later this November.
Once considered to be a top prospect in the UFC’s lightweight division, Xtreme Couture-trained Tyson Griffin has stumbled as of late. The fighter has post two-straight losses, to Evan Dunham (split decision) and Takanori Gomi (knockout), respectively. Prior to that, Griffin had bounced back from a loss to former champion Sean Sherk with convincing wins over Rafael Dos Anjos and Hermes Franca. His only other loss came at the hands of current champion Frankie Edgar back in 2007. Griffin will be looking to avoid making it three losses in a row when he takes on Lentz.
Undefeated in the UFC (with one majority draw to Thiago Tavares), Nik Lentz is on his way to building an impressive resume; with wins over Rob Emerson, Rafaello Oliveira and Andre Winner, it makes sense to award Lentz a step up in competition. Griffin, a UFC veteran, will provide “The Carnie” with just that. Lentz most recently defeated Winner at UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2 and took some heat for his unanimous decision winning performance over the British fighter; his decision-prone style (all of his Octagon victories have come by way of unanimous decision) and lackluster fight with Winner was recently at the heart of the “wrestling’s place in MMA” discussion.
UFC 123 is expected to feature bouts between former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida as well as a welterweight tilt between former 170lb. champions BJ Penn and Matt Hughes. The fight card is set to take place at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.