Zuffa Plugs UFC 123 Injury Hole

By Brian Knapp Nov 15, 2010
Undefeated lightweight prospect Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. will lock horns with fellow promotional newcomer Mike Lullo in a preliminary matchup at UFC 123 “Rampage vs. Machida” on Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. Lullo replaces Darren Elkins, who withdrew from the pay-per-view event with an injury.

Barboza has already drawn favorable comparisons to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. A Ring of Combat champion, the 24-year-old Brazilian will enter his promotional debut perfect in six professional appearances. Each of those six victories has come via knockout, technical knockout or submission, five of them inside one round. Barboza, a dynamic striker who wields KO power in his hands and feet, trains out of The Armory in Jupiter, Fla.

Based at the Midwest Training Center, the once-beaten Lullo will carry an eight-fight winning streak into his Octagon debut. The 31-year-old has submitted his last six foes. Lullo -- who sharpened his skills inside the Extreme Challenge and Xtreme Fighting Organization promotions -- coaxed a tapout from Tyler Combs with a third-round armbar under the Chicago Cagefighting Championship banner in October.

A light heavyweight showdown between former champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida will headline UFC 123, along with the rubber match between UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes and former two-division titleholder B.J. Penn.

UFC 123 “Rampage vs. Machida”
Saturday, Nov. 20
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, Mich.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida
B.J. Penn vs. Matt Hughes
Gerald Harris vs. Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
Phil Davis vs. Tim Boetsch
Aaron Simpson vs. Mark Munoz
Brian Foster vs. Matt Brown
Tyson Griffin vs. Nik Lentz
Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. vs. Mike Lullo
Karo Parisyan vs. Dennis Hallman
Paul Kelly vs. T.J. O’Brien
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