The UFC announced today the remainder of the UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida card, which is live on Pay-Per-View on November 20th from the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. To bolster the long-awaited return to Detroit, the UFC confirms that, in addition to Quinton Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida and Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn, the remaining bouts at UFC 123 include the following: George Sotiropolous vs. Joe Lauzon, Phil Davis vs. Tim Boetsch, Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Falcao, Matt Brown vs. Brian Foster, Aaron Simpson vs. Mark Muñoz, Karo Parisyan vs. Dennis Hallman, Darren Elkins vs. Edson Barboza, Paul Kelly vs. T.J. O’Brien and Tyson Griffin vs. Nik Lentz
In a lightweight matchup, up-and-coming star George Sotiropolous (13-2) has been on a tear since his UFC debut in 2008, winning all six of his fights in the Octagon, including 2010 wins over Joe Stevenson and Kurt Pellegrino. Sotiropolous matches up with Joe Lauzon (18-5). “J-Lau” is coming off one of the most dominant performances of recent years, when he pummeled Gabe Ruediger for two minutes before securing a first-round submission victory via armbar at UFC 118. In his eight UFC fights, the always-exciting Lauzon has received three Submission of the Night, two Fight of the Night and one Knockout of the Night award.
Looking to stay undefeated, Phil Davis (7-0) is seeking his fourth consecutive UFC win. A four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and 2008 National Champion for Penn State, “Mr. Wonderful” will face his toughest test yet in a light heavyweight matchup with Tim Boetsch (12-3). As a four-year varsity wrestler for traditional powerhouse Lock Haven University, “The Barbarian” will be anything but a pushover. Boetsch has finished 11 of his 12 wins, and, with five knockouts and six submissions, he is a threat wherever the fight goes.
Boasting a ten-fight winning streak that includes knockout victories in each of his three UFC fights, Gerald Harris (16-2) plans to continue working his way up the middleweight ranks. “Hurricane” already has two Knockout of the Night awards to his name and will look to add a third in an attempt to spoil Maiquel Falcao’s (25-3, 1 NC) debut in the Octagon. A member of the legendary Chute Boxe Academy, “Big Rig” has put together an impressive streak as well, with seven straight wins and victories in 11 of his last 12 bouts, none of them making it through the second round.
Welterweight Matt Brown (13-9) has battled with many of the UFC’s best throughout his career. Known as “The Immortal”, the well-rounded fighter has been in the Octagon with the likes of Chris Lytle, Dong Hyun Kim and Ricardo Almeida, and he has another tough test ahead of him in Brian Foster (16-5). Not one for boring fights, Foster has never had a fight go to the judges’ scorecards. Just two months after a knockout victory over Forrest Petz that earned him Knockout of the Night honors, Foster hopes a win over a seasoned veteran like Brown can elevate him in the always tough welterweight division.
One of several Arizona State University All-American-wrestlers-turned-MMA-stars, Aaron Simpson (7-1) plans to follow in the footsteps of fellow Sun Devils Cain Velasquez and Ryan Bader in a sprint up the MMA rankings. In his young career, “A-Train” has already received Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night awards in wins over Tom Lawlor and Tim McKenzie, respectively. Mark Munoz (8-2) is a stellar wrestler himself, winning an NCAA Championship at Oklahoma State. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is 3-1 in the Octagon since dropping to middleweight, with his only blemish a split decision loss against top contender Yushin Okami. Munoz has also shown excellent power, knocking out Kendall Grove to win Fight of the Night earlier in 2010.
Someone whose talent has never been doubted, Karo Parisyan (27-5, 1 NC) has defeated many of the best 170-pounders in the game. “The Heat” has recorded victories over Chris Lytle, Matt Serra and Nick Diaz, and looks to put himself back into contention in his return to the Octagon with a win over Dennis Hallman (65-13-2, 1 NC). The submission specialist has unprecedented experience, even tapping out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes on two occasions. Coming off a win over Ben Saunders, a win for Hallman will continue his career resurgence.
In a lightweight battle that seems destined to end early, Darren Elkins (12-2) is known for finishing fights. With only two fights ever going to decision, Elkins has the power and grappling to end his opponents. Holding a win over Duane Ludwig in the UFC, “The Damage” is set to take on Edson Barboza (6-0). The highly-touted Brazilian prospect is a Muay Thai ace who has used his talents in the art to knock out five of his six opponents, finishing the other by submission. He has been competing in MMA for just under two years, and hopes his rise will continue in his UFC debut.
Paul Kelly (11-3) has become a staple in the Octagon for UFC fans. With seven UFC fights already under his belt, “Tellys” looks to establish himself as a lightweight contender. The 26-year old member of the Kaobon camp will be taking on UFC first-timer T.J. O’Brien (16-3). This submission guru has finished all his victories via tapout, specializing in the triangle choke, which has brought him 11 of his 16 wins. Currently on a six-fight winning streak, “The Spider” has ended five of those wins in the first round.
One of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, Tyson Griffin (14-4) has won Fight of the Night in five of his 11 bouts in the Octagon. Griffin has defeated some of the game’s top stars, including Clay Guida, Urijah Faber, Gleison Tibau and Rafael Dos Anjos, while battling Sean Sherk and current champion Frankie Edgar to decisions that earned Fight of the Night honors. Opposing Griffin will be Nik Lentz (21-3-2). “The Carny” is undefeated in his last 12 fights, including a 3-0-1 record in the Octagon. A former Division I wrestler, Lentz has used his grappling skills to dominate his opponents.