The man who was once slated to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title, Erik Koch, has been given a quick turn around, facing Daron Cruickshank in May at UFC’s return to Cincinnati. This announcement comes shortly after the news of Eddie Wineland facing Johnny Eduardo on the same card, and is an intriguing bout considering the impressiveness of each fighter’s last appearance inside the Octagon.
Erik Koch returned to winning ways after a two fight losing streak against Ricardo Lamas and Dustin Poirier, moving up to lightweight and defeating UFC veteran Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 170. He made it abundantly clear that 155lbs is where he will stay for the foreseeable future, stating his lack of energy when cutting down to 145lbs and that he only stayed at featherweight as he was ranked there.
Now, ‘New Breed’ will be hoping to continue his path to a ranking in the stacked lightweight division with a win over Daron Cruickshank. The way in which Koch dispatched of a tough 25-fight veteran in Oliveira was impressive in itself, and a win over Cruickshank will make him a force to be reckoned with at 155lbs.
Cruickshank, meanwhile, is a former TUF Live competitor and has garnered a 4-2 record inside the Octagon. Going 14-4 as a pro, the striking specialist will be a tough test for lightweight newcomer Koch, particularly while the fight is played out on the feet. After a highlight reel wheel kick which led to the finish over Mike Rio in his last appearance inside the cage, Cruickshank will need to put on a similarly devastating performance to get past the equally devastating Koch.
UFC Fight Night 42 in Cincinnati, OH is set to go down on May 10 at US Bank Arena. The main event of the card is yet to be announced, but details should be released in the near future.