Two men who may be on the fringe of light-heavyweight or super-middleweight fame take on arguably the biggest fight of their lives in the green and yellow-clad octagon when Long Island’s George Kambosos Jr. faces Teofimo Lopez at UFC Fight Night 58 at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The bout could define not only the UFC 205 card on Nov. 12, when Ronda Rousey returns to the Octagon after a five-year absence, but also the careers of the two men involved in a crossroads bout.
Kambosos Jr. and Lopez, both undefeated in their pro careers, have been on a collision course for several months. Some would argue that the middleweight is taking the fight at welterweight. Kambosos, 27, now the No. 8 ranked lightweight, picks up 10 pounds in weight against the midget-sized Lopez, 25, by fighting the recently promoted featherweight on the roster of the 145-pound division — and the winner could emerge as the inaugural champion of UFC’s new title class of 155-pound fighters.
Lopez, who has won eight of his last nine fights since losing his UFC debut, won the lightweight belt by defeating previously undefeated Omari Akhmedov at UFC 213 in July.
Kambosos Jr. still has an agenda in mind.
“This is a big event for me,” said Kambosos, a Fordham University-educated former soccer player, who trains in Staten Island. “I’m taking this fight not just for myself, but for my team and for the whole region.”
After meeting in the cage on Oct. 6, both men will likely need more than five minutes to reach a decision, as the winner will most likely settle into an upward climb in the UFC rankings while the loser will likely see his promotion to a new featherweight weight class.