The reported lightweight contest between exciting 155’ers Anthony Pettis and Joe Lauzon looks to be official, as the UFC reported today that the fight has been agreed to verbally by both men.
“Verbal agreements are in for a match between two of the most exciting lightweights in the sport as Joe ‘J-Lau’ Lauzon will face Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis February 26th in Saitama, Japan,” said UFC president Dana White.
Once in line to challenge for the UFC lightweight title courtesy his status as the WEC’s last 155lbs. champ, Anthony Pettis saw his momentum stalled when Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fought to a draw. He would have to wait for their rematch to get his shot at the winner and in the meantime, he would face Clay Guida. Guida gave Pettis a rough welcome to the promotion, out-wrestling him to a unanimous decision victory. Showtime returned to action victoriously though, taking out the highly-regarded Jeremy Stephens with his own wrestling-heavy performance. The 24-year-old sports a record of 12-2 and is considered one of the brightest young prospects in the sport.
A longtime competitor in the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter 5 contestant Joe Lauzon recently rebounded from a submission loss to George Sotiropoulos by running through Curt Warburton and Melvin Guillard. The 27-year-old has earned nine fight night bonuses in the UFC (5x Submission of the Night, 3x Fight of the Night, 1x Knockout of the Night), sports a record of 21-6 and told MMAWeekly that he doesn’t see anything getting in the way of a match-up between himself and Pettis.
The two will face off at UFC 144, which will take place on February 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.