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Joe Lauzon vs. Chris Gruetzemacher slated for UFC 223

Joe Lauzon (EL)
Joe Lauzon returns against Chris Gruetzemacher at UFC 223.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Joe Lauzon will make his 26th walk to the Octagon at UFC 223.

Lauzon is slated to face fellow The Ultimate Fighter alumnus Chris Gruetzemacher in a lightweight contest in Brooklyn on April 7 at UFC 223. Newsday first reported news of the matchup on Thursday.

A 33-year-old longtime veteran of the sport, Lauzon (27-14) has struggled in recent years, losing five of his last eight bouts since 2015. Still, Lauzon remains the UFC’s all-time leader in post-fight bonuses — a record, 15, he shares with Nate Diaz — and has picked up noteworthy wins over one-time Bellator title challenger Marcin Held, Diego Sanchez, and Takanori Gomi over his slump.

Lauzon heads into UFC 223 having suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Stevie Ray and Clay Guida in his last two fights.

Likewise, Gruetzemacher (13-3) hopes to rebound after suffering back-to-back submission losses via rear-naked choke to Chas Skelly and Davi Ramos in 2017.

Prior to that, the 31-year-old Arizona native picked up a unanimous decision win over Abner Lloveras in his Octagon debut.

UFC 223 takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. A lightweight bout between interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov headlines the event.

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