The 155ers will be out in force April 20 for UFC on Fox 7.
MMAjunkie.com broke the news late Wednesday that the UFC added four new bouts—all of them in the lightweight division—to the nationally televised event.
Each new bout carries plenty of intrigue. The undefeated Myles Jury will take a step up when he faces Ramsey Nijem, finalist on season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter. Promising Asian prospect Jon Tuck will measure himself against Norman Parke, lightweight winner of the recent TUF: The Smashes. Two dynamic strikers square off when Anthony Njokuani faces Strikeforce transplant Roger Bowling. And another Strikeforce veteran, knockout artist Jorge Masvidal, makes his UFC debut against Tim Means, who, uh, slipped in a sauna and knocked himself out right before his last scheduled fight.
With the addition of these four fights, UFC on Fox 7 is decidedly heavy on the lightweights. Of 10 announced bouts, six will be contested at 155 pounds.
That theme culminates in the main event, when Benson Henderson defends his title against Gilbert Melendez, the final Strikeforce lightweight champion and a longtime denizen of the global rankings.
The lightweight division may be the most talent-rich weight class in the UFC. The fighters working therein, a combination of speed, power, versatility and a kind of everyman size appeal, have over the years earned a reputation for exciting performances.
The UFC, still hungry for big ratings wins here in the early stages of its relationship with Fox, hit the lottery at UFC on Fox 5, which peaked with 5.7 million viewers, the highest number for a UFC on Fox broadcast since the second installment of the series. That event was headlined by Henderson defending his belt in a star-making five-round turn against Nate Diaz.
I guess the message here is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. For the moment, the lighter guys seem more than strong enough to shoulder the load.