After losing initial opponent Josh Grispi, Erik Koch (10-1 MMA, 2-1 WEC) now has a new opponent for next week's WEC 52 event.
The featherweight contender welcomes promotional newcomer Francisco "Cisco" Rivera (5-0 MMA, 0-0 WEC) to the organization in a Versus-televised main-card bout, WEC General Manager Reed Harris today announced.
WEC 52 takes place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The night's five-fight main card, including a Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki bantamweight headliner, airs on Versus. It's the second-to-last show the WEC hosts before a January merger with its sister promotion, the UFC.
Koch initially was expected to fight Grispi in a likely No. 1 contender's bout. However, once the UFC decided to make a WEC merger official, Grispi was moved to a UFC 125 title fight with Jose Aldo, the final WEC champ who's now the UFC 145-pound title-holder.
Koch recently rebounded from his first pro loss with a submission victory over Bendy Casmir at WEC 49. Prior to that, Koch took on Chad Mendes and was out-wrestled and suffered a unanimous-decision loss at WEC 47. Koch made his promotional debut at WEC 45 and bested Jameel Massouh on points. The Duke Roufus-trained fighter owns seven submissions among his 10 career wins.
Rivera, who trains with fellow WEC fighter Manny Gamburyan, brings an undefeated record to the organization. The two-year pro has posted three knockouts among his five career wins, and each lasted 52 seconds or fewer. The well-rounded fighter's most recent bout came back in January, when he topped Fernando Bernstein (3-3 at the time) at a Called Out MMA event in California.
The full WEC 52 card includes:
- Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Wagnney Fabiano
- Erik Koch vs. Francisco Rivera
- Chad Mendes vs. Javier Vazquez
- Demetrious Johnson vs. Damacio Page
- Raphael Assuncao vs. L.C. Davis
- Edward Faaloloto vs. Anthony Njokuani
- Zack Micklewright vs. Dustin Poirier
- Clint Godfrey vs. Michael McDonald
- Yves Jabouin vs. Brandon Visher
- Mackens Semerzier vs. Cub Swanson