On the Monday night edition of Wrestling Observer Radio (sub needed), MMA Fighting's Dave Meltzer reported that January's UFC on Fox 6 card in Chicago will open with a featherweight battle between Erik Koch and Ricardo Lamas, further speculating that the winner could be in line for the next UFC featherweight title shot.
When the 24-year-old Koch (13-1) returns to action, it will follow a 16-month layoff as he's battled various injuries, one of which cost him an opportunity to face current 145-pound champion Jose Aldo in October. A WEC transplant, he's won four straight with finishes in three of them. He last defeated Jonathan Brookins by decision in September 2011.
Fellow WEC alum Lamas (12-2) is 3-0 in his UFC career thus far, recording wins over Matt Grice, Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki this past June. The 30-year-old dropped to featherweight before his UFC debut, which is turning out to be a great decision. He also has finishes in two of his last three, making him an attractive choice to open the show.
If there are no injuries, the main UFC on Fox card -- set for Saturday, January 26 -- will be as follows:
- Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
- Quinton Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
- Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
- Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas