Joe Lauzon will step inside the Octagon in December to test his skills against a fighter who came oh-so-close to winning the UFC lightweight title.

Lauzon and Gray Maynard are set for the year-end UFC 155 card. The fight is likely set to be part of the main card, which will also feature UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, former champ Cain Velasquez, Chael Sonnen’s UFC 205-pound debut and Forrest Griffin.

For Lauzon (22-7), being placed on such an important card is exactly the kind of fight he was hoping for after submitting Jamie Varner.

“I contacted Joe Silva and said I thought that Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of (The Ultimate Fighter),” said Lauzon, in a recent interview with CagePotato. “They didn’t do that but later I got a call asking if I wanted to fight Gray on December 29. It’s on the main card of a huge card.”

Maynard fought then-UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to a draw before being stopped in the third encounter. He rebounded to defeat Clay Guida earlier this year.

Lauzon, who has earned 11 UFC bonuses, knows he will need to be on top of his game against “The Bully.”

“My last fight was the first fight where I really had fun,” Lauzon said. “I was enjoying every second of that fight. I also know that I probably can’t get hit as often by Gray as I did by Varner.”

Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting