Showtime officially announced during Friday night’s ShoXC telecast during an events calendar promo segment that EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler is scheduled to defend his title against Joey Villasenor on Saturday, November 8.
The bout had been rumored for several weeks but had not be confirmed prior to tonight’s broadcast. The fight between Lawler and Villasenor will be a rematch from their previous encounter at PRIDE 32 in October of 2006 in Las Vegas in which Lawler knocked Villasenor out with a flying knee just 22 seconds into round 1.
Since that time, Lawler has signed a long-term contract with EliteXC and won the promotion’s middleweight title from first-ever 185 lbs. champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua during EliteXC’s “Uprising” event last September.
Lawler last fought during EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” show this past July, earning a second round TKO over Scott Smith. The bout was a rematch from their controversial first fight during EliteXC’s “Primetime” event on May 31 that ended in a no contest after Smith became the recipient of an accidental eye poke from Lawler.
For Villasenor, Nov. 8 will represent his second opportunity to lay claim to the EliteXC middleweight title. He fought Rua for the then-vacant championship in June of 2007 on the undercard of EliteXC and Strikeforce’s co-promotion that featured Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni in the main event. Rua won the match and the title following a second round TKO.
Since losing to Rua, Villasenor has moved himself back into contention by going 3-0 with wins over Riki Fukuda, Ryan Jensen, and Phil Baroni.
In addition to Lawler vs. Villasenor II, EliteXC’s untitled November event is rumored to also feature Nick Diaz, Eddie Alvarez, Brett Rogers, Rafael Feijao, and Cyrille Diabate.