The UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night 20 card, which will take place on January 11th at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, is set to be bolstered by four new (yet to be officially confirmed) bouts.
Chris leben (18-6) will look to put a troubled last year behind him when he squares off against the 5-2 Jay Silva. Having lost to Michael Bisping at UFC 89 in october of last year Leben tested positive for steroids and was banned from fighting for 9 months. On his return he looked less than impressive en-route to a defeat via arm triangle at the hands of Jake Rosholt. A victory over Silva will be crucial for Leben to remain a significant presence in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Brazilian born Jay Silva’s octagon debut ended in defeat by unanimous decision to C.B Dollaway after stepping in as a late replacement. With a string of K.O victories on his record prior to signing with the UFC this fight could suggest a stand-up war will occur with the heavy handed Leben, but Silva does also hold a background in BJJ.
With a 2-2 record in his last four visits to the octagon, Josh Koscheck (13-4) must now be looking to put together a consist run of results if he is to achieve his ambition of a rematch with welterweight champion Georges St Pierre. After defeating Frank Trigg in the first round at UFC 103 he has announced that his next opponent is to be Mike Pierce (9-1).
This may raise a few eyebrows from those who would have expected an opponent further up the welterweight ladder, but Pierce does hold a win over Brock Larson in his octagon debut at last months UFN 19 event.
After an impressive knockout win over Cole Miller at UFC 103, Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero (12-0) will look to further enhance his growing reputation when he steps into the cage with Nik Lentz (17-3-1). Lentz claimed his first victory in the UFC after stepping in as a late replacement for Dan Lauzon against Rafaello Oliviera last month.
Finally, two middleweight fighters with impressive wins in their last octagon showings – Tom Lawlor (6-1-1nc) and Aaron Simpson (6-0) are now set to fight. Lawlor received the biggest payday of his career when he fought on the undercard of UFC 100 and took home a $100,000 bonus for claiming the Submission Of The Night over C.B Dollaway.
He is in for a tough fight against Aaron Simpson however. Simpson has impressed so far in his two UFC outings and despite a wrestling background his victories have a habit of ending in TKO or KO.