UFC on FOX 6: January 26, 2013 Chicago, Illinois UFC Featherweight Contender Erik Koch (-140) Profile: Erik Koch (13-1) dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of being a martial artist. Whether it was Tae Kwon Do as a toddler, or helping his brother run an MMA gym in Iowa, Koch was around the sport, and it was ingrained into his system. His first professional fights would come at the age of 19, and Koch would amass an undefeated 8-0 record in various small promotions throughout the Midwest. Eventually, he made his way to the WEC, where he would finally taste defeat at the hands of contender Chad Mendes. Koch would go 3-1 in the WEC with a combination of solid ground game, great striking and ring wherewithal. Koch is currently undefeated in the UFC featherweight division, getting a Knockout of the Night bonus for putting Raphael Assuncao’s lights out at UFC 128 and then defeating TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins at UFC Live: Shields vs. Ellenberger. UFC Featherweight Contender Ricardo Lamas (+110) Profile: Ricardo Lamas (12-2) made his way to the UFC from the WEC’s lightweight division after experiencing mixed results with a 4-2 mark in the California-based promotion. The highlight of his WEC career may have been his first-round knockout of Bendy Casimir by flying knee at WEC 47 on March 6, 2010. In the UFC, Lamas decided to make the cut to featherweight and has been undefeated at 3-0 with impressive victories over Matt Grice, Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki. The 30-year-old Chicago area native trains with many notable martial artists at Team Top Notch in Elmhurst, Illinois. He was an All-American Division III wrestler at Elmhurst College and earned a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under world champion Daniel Valverde. Lamas’ standup should not be underestimated either, as he also has impressive Muay Thai skills. He has won three straight and six of seven dating back to his WEC days. Opening UFC on FOX 6 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Koch a small -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) while Lamas opened as a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110) according to the MMA odds. Koch originally had a featherweight title shot against champion Jose Aldo at UFC 149, but injuries by both fighters derailed that opportunity on two different occasions, including a rescheduled bout at UFC 153. Since then, former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar has dropped to 145 and immediately gets the next crack at Aldo. The winner of this fight could get the next title shot as both Koch and Lamas are on a roll. Koch is riding a four-fight winning streak while Lamas has won three straight and six of seven with the lone loss during that stretch coming against Yuri Alcantara at WEC 53 in 2010. Lamas scored an upset of Hatsu Hioki which vaulted him into the Top 5 of the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings. It’s interesting to note that Koch is not among the Top 15 in the featherweight rankings, showing Lamas might be undervalued in this spot.