Nik Lentz and Eiji Mitsuoka square off during the UFC 150 weigh-ins at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. Photo Credit: Esther LIn of MMA Fighting
The lone Facebook fight of the UFC 150 preliminary card sees two lightweights make their debuts at featherweight. Nik Lentz (21-5-2-1 NC MMA, 5-2-1-1 NC UFC) looks to get off a two-fight skid against Japanese veteran Eiji Mitsuoka (18-8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Neither man was ranked at lightweight in the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings and obviously aren't ranked at FW.
It should be a well-contested ground battle as both men are known for their wrestling skills. Both men however have shown in the past they aren't afraid to show off their striking. This fight will air live on the UFC's Facebook page at 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Lentz: 27 years old | 5'8" | 68" reach
Mitsuoka: 36 years old | 5'7" | 68" reach
What have these two done recently?
Lentz: L - Evan Dunham (TKO) | L - Mark Bocek (UD) | NC - Charles Oliveira (Illegal Knee)
Mitsuoka: L - Takanori Gomi (TKO) | W - Bruno Carvalho (UD) | W - Jung Gyeong Lee (SUB to strikes)
How did these two get here?
Lentz's UFC career has been spent entirely on the prelims but it has been oft-discussed by MMA fans. The Minnesota native went undefeated in his first three UFC fights (2-0-1) and found himself on the Spike TV preliminary card at UFC 118 against Andre Winner. His grinding wrestling style had the boo birds out and while he won a decision it was widely considered an atrocious fight. Dana White clearly tried to make an example out of him by having him fight veteran Tyson Griffin to open UFC 123, but Lentz pulled out a split decision victory. From there on Lentz has been all about excitement, picking up FOTN bonuses against Charles Oliveira and Evan Dunham. He is winless in his last 3, however, and his time with the UFC could come to an end with defeat here.
Eiji Mitsuoka is a PRIDE and Sengoku veteran with several impressive wins at lightweight. His career-best victory was a majority decision win in 2007 over former top 10 lightweight Joachim Hansen. But Mitsuoka only got his shot at the UFC as an injury replacement in his home country of Japan against all-time great LW Takanori Gomi. Mitsuoka was surprisingly effective on the feet and nearly TKO'd the remnants of The Fireball Kid, but he gassed badly in the 2nd round and Gomi stopped him with strikes. At 36 it's virtually impossible for Eiji to contend in any weight class, but he is now venturing into 145 lbs for the first time in his career and will try and get his first UFC victory tonight.
Why should you care?
Lentz has shed off his "boring" tag since the dreadful Andre Winner fight back in August 2010, and it'll be very interesting to see if he can find new success at 145 lbs.
After the jump, more UFC 150 coverage from Bloody Elbow.