Sometimes a fight just makes itself.
On February 23, news broke that UFC Featherweight Erik Koch had to pull out of his scheduled March 3 fight against Erik Koch. Less than 36 hours later, UFC Featherweight Manny Gamburyan had to pull out of his March 19 fight against Raphael Assuncao. And according to a report on MMA Weekly, Erik Koch will fight Rafael Assuncao at UFC 128 on March 19.
According to MMA Weekly, no fight agreements have been signed at this point, but both Assuncao and Koch have verbally agreed to the match.
Koch will be making his UFC debut, which hs capped off with a fantastic KO victory against Francisco Rivera early in round one. The Duke Roufus affiliated fighter secured the victory with a high kick that landed flush on the overwhelmed Rivera.
Assuncao, who holds WEC victories over Jameel Massouh, Yves Jabouin, and LC Davis, and early career victories over Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal, will also be making his UFC debut at UFC 128. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt will be looking for his fourth win for Zuffa.
It is not yet known whether this fight will be broadcast on Spike TV.
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Rich Hansen's Take: Assuncao is by far the best opponent Erik Koch will have faced to this point. Assuncao is also a completely different fighter than his original opponent Cub Swanson. Koch is going to have to bring 100% of his abilities to the cage, but even that might not be enough to pull out a victory against Assuncao.
As soon as news broke about Gamburyan's injury, everyone pretty much assumed that this fight was the fight to make. Credit Joe Silva and Zuffa for not getting overly creative and making the most logical fight out there. This fight could be a lot of fun, due to the completely disparate arsenals of each fighter. I really hope this fight makes TV, or at least a Facebook stream.