Erik Koch moves to lightweight, faces Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 170

Erik Koch punches Dustin Poirier
Erik Koch has decided to make the jump up to lightweight.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


Erik Koch will officially move to lightweight at UFC 170 on Feb 22 when he returns to action to face Rafaello 'Tractor' Oliveira in an undercard bout on the card.

UFC officials announced the new bout on Saturday.

It was teased after a recent loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 164 that Koch (13-3) may make a move to 155 pounds after spending his entire career inside the Octagon fighting at featherweight. According to his coaches and manager, Koch goes through a brutal weight cut every time he fights at 145 pounds so a move to lightweight was the best way for him to get superior performances inside the cage.

Koch will get the chance to prove lightweight is a better division while also looking to stop a two fight losing streak when he returns at UFC 170.

Rafaello Oliveira (15-6) will try to ruin Koch's arrival at 155 pounds while also improving upon his 1-3 record in his last four fights when the fighters meet on Feb 22.

A submission fighter by trade, Oliveira has struggled in the UFC lately with losses to Gleison Tibau, Yves Edwards and Edson Barboza but now looks to react with a win in his next bout against Koch at UFC 170.

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