Two bouts have been added to the UFC 176 card, set to be hosted at Staples Centre is Los Angeles, CA on August 2. In the middleweight division, Derek Brunson will look to get back to winning ways against fellow Strikeforce veteran Lorenz Larkin, who has lost three in his last four bouts. Also announced for the card is a lightweight tilt between unbeaten TUF Live alum James Vick and UFC debutant Walmir Lazaro.
Derek Brunson entered the UFC with an impressive record of 9-2, though had lost his last two coming into his promotional debut. He re-showed the form that led to nine wins in a row, defeating Chris Leben in his debut before making a statement with a 48-second submission over Brian Houston.
However, in January, the 30 year-old was matched up with Cuban Olympian Yoel Romero, and after putting in a solid performance in the first two, faded in the third round which resulted in a knockout victory for Romero. To make matters worse for Brunson, he also suffered a broken jaw as a result of the shots landed by his opponent. He will now make his return against a gritty middleweight in Lorenz Larkin.
Larkin has been inconsistent since signing with the UFC from Strikeforce as part of the merger in 2013. With wins over Robbie Lawler and Gian Villante in an impressive 13-0 (1 NC) start to his career, the 27 year-old has racked up a less-than impressive 1-3 record inside the Octagon which has left him on the verge of being cut by the promotion. A loss to Brunson could seal Larkin’s fate, making this one of the most important fights of his career thusfar.
The other bout to be announced for the card features the unbeaten James Vick coming up against Brazilian prospect Walmir Lazaro, who comes into the fight with 11 wins in a row. Winning 9 of his 12 bouts via knockout, Lazaro has earned his call-up to the UFC with three consecutive TKO victories, and will look to hand Vick his first professional loss. A member of Team Cruz, Vick won his UFC debut via submission after just 58 seconds and will hope to follow this up with another impressive win.
UFC 176 is headlined by the featherweight title rematch between Nova Uniao’s Jose Aldo and Team Alpha Male’s Chad Mendes, with Aldo looking for redemption for teammate Renan Barao and Mendes looking to even the score after suffering a first round knockout against the champ at UFC 142.