August 13, 1984
El Paso, Texas, United States
|Other names||The Carny|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)|
Lightweight (2005-2012) (2015-present)
|Reach||68 in (173 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Eden Prairie, Minnesota|
|Team||Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, American Top Team|
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Wrestling||NCAA Division I Wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Lentz was born in El Paso, Texas but grew up in Twin Cities area of Minnesota, attending Bloomington Jefferson High School. In high school he wrestled, and was a state champion in Minnesota. After graduating in 2003, he was awarded a scholarship to wrestle for the University of Minnesota. In 2005, he started training in MMA. He trained in Chinese martial arts with Luis Quiroz, switched to Team Bison, and then switched to Minnesota Martial Arts Academy alongside former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk and former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight Paul Bradley.
Mixed martial arts career
Lentz made his professional debut in 2005 against Anthony White. The fight ended after Lentz knocked out White sometime during the first round. His next fight ended in the same way as the first with Lentz earning himself his second consecutive KO win. His third fight showed off Lentz's power in his hands after he forced his opponent to submit to punches.
Lentz went 4–0 after securing a rear naked choke submission win over Kenneth Allen. His first loss came out the hands of Sherron Leggett from a razor thin split decision. Lentz bounced back with a knock out win over Chris Powers. On a card held by Ultimate Combat Sports, Lentz submitted Jake Hoyer using a rear naked choke.
On August 2006, Lentz took his second loss from Brian Green who submitted him using an armbar in the first round. Lentz won his next three fights, all with first round knockouts; one of the three was against Bellator lightweight, Carey Vanier.
Lentz had a grueling back-and-forth battle with Mark Moreno before the fight ended in disappointment when the cage-side doctors ruled Lentz unable to continue. After the loss to Moreno, Lentz went on to compile a 7–0–1 record in his next 8 fights including a victory over UFC veteran, Drew Fickett. He was then signed by the UFC and entered with a 16–3–1 record.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In August 2009, it was announced Lentz had been signed with the UFC, and he would make his debut at UFC 103. He replaced an injured Dan Lauzon and upset Rafaello Oliveira, winning via unanimous decision with scores of 29–28, 29–28, and 30–27.
In his fourth UFC appearance, Lentz defeated Andre Winner on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118 via unanimous decision (30–27 (twice) and 29–28). The match was shown on Spike TV before the Pay-Per-View event. Lentz scored multiple take-downs throughout the fight but was not able to capitalize on them. The fight was criticized for lack of action.
At UFC Fight Night 24, Lentz fought and defeated division II national wrestling champion, Waylon Lowe. After Lowe won the first and second rounds convincingly, Lentz came back in the third and scored an impressive come from behind submission win.
Lentz faced Charles Oliveira on June 26, 2011 at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry. The fight ended in the second round after Oliveira hit Lentz with an illegal knee which went unnoticed by the referee and submitted the dazed Lentz via rear naked choke. However, after reviewing the incident, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission overturned the result and declared it a no contest. The back and forth action earned both fighters Fight of the Night honors.
Lentz was defeated by Mark Bocek on December 10, 2011 at UFC 140 via unanimous decision. Lentz was taken down all three rounds and controlled despite threatening Bocek twice with a guillotine choke in rounds 1 and 2.
Lentz faced Evan Dunham on January 28, 2012 at UFC on Fox 2, where he replaced an injured Paul Sass. Lentz lost via TKO, due to doctor stoppage because of a large cut under his left eye. The fight earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.
In his second fight at featherweight, Lentz faced Diego Nunes on January 19, 2013 at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping. He won the fight via unanimous decision in what is arguably the biggest victory of his career.
Lentz went back to Brazil for the second fight in a row and faced Hacran Dias on May 18, 2013 at UFC on FX 8, replacing an injured Manvel Gamburyan He won the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision.
Lentz was briefly linked to a bout with Dennis Bermudez on November 6, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 31. However, Lentz was pulled from the pairing with Bermudez and instead faced Chad Mendes on December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Lentz was expected to face Charles Oliveira in a rematch on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50. At the event weigh in, Oliveira came in over the 146 pound featherweight limit at 150 pounds. Subsequently, he was initially forced to surrender 20 percent of his purse to Lentz and the bout was changed to a catchweight affair. Subsequently, Oliveira pulled out of the bout entirely after falling ill the day of the event.
Lentz was expected to face Thiago Tavares in a rematch on February 14, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 60. However, Tavares pulled out of the bout citing injury in late January and was replaced by promotional newcomer Levan Makashvili. Subsequently, for the second fight in a row, Lentz had a fight cancelled at the weigh ins as the pairing was scrapped as Lentz was stricken with flu-like symptoms.
Lentz finally faced Charles Oliveira in a rematch on May 30, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 67. Following a back-and-forth first two rounds, Lentz lost the fight via guillotine submission in the third round. Despite the loss, Lentz was awarded a Fight of the Night bonus award.
Lentz was expected to face Mairbek Taisumov on September 10, 2016 at UFC 203. However, Taisumov was removed from the event during the week before the event for alleged visa issues and was replaced by promotional newcomer Michael McBride. He won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Lentz faced Will Brooks on October 7, 2017 at UFC 216. However the pairing was scrapped during the weigh-ins for the event, as Lentz was stricken with "medical issues" and deemed unfit to compete. The pairing with Brooks was rescheduled and took place on November 19, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 121. Lentz won the fight via submission in the second round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Lentz was expected to face Leonardo Santos on June 1, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 131. However, it was reported on April 28, 2018 that Santos was pulled from the event due to a hand injury. He was replaced by David Teymur. Lentz lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Lentz faced former title challenger Gray Maynard on October 6, 2018 at UFC 229. He won the fight via TKO in the second round after dropping Maynard with a head kick and following up with punches.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|42 matches||30 wins||9 losses|
|Win||30–9–2 (1)||Scott Holtzman||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez||February 17, 2019||3||5:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||29–9–2 (1)||Gray Maynard||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC 229||October 6, 2018||2||1:19||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||28–9–2 (1)||David Teymur||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Rivera vs. Moraes||June 1, 2018||3||5:00||Utica, New York, United States|
|Win||28–8–2 (1)||Will Brooks||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura||November 19, 2017||2||2:05||Sydney, Australia||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||27–8–2 (1)||Islam Makhachev||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 208||February 11, 2017||3||5:00||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Win||27–7–2 (1)||Michael McBride||TKO (punches)||UFC 203||September 10, 2016||2||4:17||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||Catchweight (158 lbs) bout; McBride missed weight.|
|Win||26–7–2 (1)||Danny Castillo||Decision (split)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2||December 19, 2015||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States||Return to Lightweight.|
|Loss||25–7–2 (1)||Charles Oliveira||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Alves||May 30, 2015||3||1:10||Goiânia, Brazil||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||25–6–2 (1)||Manvel Gamburyan||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva||May 10, 2014||3||5:00||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||24–6–2 (1)||Chad Mendes||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2||December 14, 2013||3||5:00||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Win||24–5–2 (1)||Hacran Dias||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold||May 18, 2013||3||5:00||Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil|
|Win||23–5–2 (1)||Diego Nunes||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping||January 19, 2013||3||5:00||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||22–5–2 (1)||Eiji Mitsuoka||TKO (punches)||UFC 150||August 11, 2012||1||3:45||Denver, Colorado, United States||Featherweight debut.|
|Loss||21–5–2 (1)||Evan Dunham||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis||January 28, 2012||2||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||21–4–2 (1)||Mark Bocek||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 140||December 10, 2011||3||5:00||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|NC||21–3–2 (1)||Charles Oliveira||NC (illegal knee)||UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry||June 26, 2011||2||1:48||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||Fight of the Night. Originally a submission (rear-naked choke) win for Oliveira; overturned due to an illegal knee.|
|Win||21–3–2||Waylon Lowe||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis||March 26, 2011||3||2:24||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Win||20–3–2||Tyson Griffin||Decision (split)||UFC 123||November 20, 2010||3||5:00||Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||19–3–2||Andre Winner||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 118||August 28, 2010||3||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||18–3–2||Rob Emerson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi||March 31, 2010||3||5:00||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|Draw||17–3–2||Thiago Tavares||Draw (majority)||UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz||January 11, 2010||3||5:00||Fairfax, Virginia, United States||Tavares was deducted 1 point due to a groin kick.|
|Win||17–3–1||Rafaello Oliveira||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 103||September 19, 2009||3||5:00||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Win||16–3–1||Nick Walker||TKO (punches)||EC 127: Extreme Challenge 127||May 30, 2009||1||2:15||Rochester, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||15–3–1||Drew Fickett||Decision (unanimous)||EB: Beatdown at 4 Bears||March 21, 2009||3||5:00||New Town, North Dakota, United States|
|Win||14–3–1||Sam Rouch||Decision (unanimous)||SNMMA: Beatdown 4 at Bears||October 11, 2008||3||5:00||New Town, North Dakota, United States|
|Win||13–3–1||Dan Loman||Submission (guillotine choke)||Brutaal Fight Night||September 5, 2008||1||4:13||Maplewood, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||12–3–1||Travis Pierzinski||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Brutaal Fight Night||May 21, 2008||2||3:45||Maplewood, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||11–3–1||Scott Bickerstaff||TKO (punches)||Xtreme Fighting Organization 22||February 23, 2008||1||3:49||Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States|
|Draw||10–3–1||Kyle Jensen||Draw||CFX 7: Brutal||November 29, 2007||3||5:00||St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||10–3||Gabe Wallbridge||Submission (rear-naked choke)||EFX: Myth in Maplewood||September 19, 2007||1||N/A||Maplewood, Minnesota, United States|
|Loss||9–3||Mark Moreno||TKO (doctor stoppage)||X-1: Extreme Fighting 2||March 17, 2007||1||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||9–2||Duran Barlow||Submission (punches)||EFX: Fury||December 7, 2006||1||N/A||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||8–2||Vern Jefferson||TKO (punches)||EFX||September 6, 2006||1||N/A||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||7–2||Carey Vanier||TKO (punches)||EFX||September 6, 2006||1||N/A||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Loss||6–2||Brian Green||Submission (armbar)||EFX||August 2, 2006||1||N/A||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||6–1||Chris Powers||Submission (rear-naked choke)||EFX: Fury||July 24, 2006||1||1:44||Andover, Minnesota, United States|
|Loss||5–1||Sherron Leggett||Decision (split)||Twin Cities Throwdown||April 8, 2006||3||5:00||Burnsville, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||5–0||Kenneth Allen||Submission (rear-naked choke)||EFX: Fury||February 1, 2006||2||N/A||Burnsville, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||4–0||Derek Abram||Submission (punches)||EFX||December 5, 2005||1||N/A||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||3–0||Nick Melton||TKO (punches)||XKK: Lamar||October 10, 2005||1||N/A||Fort Dodge, Iowa, United States|
|Win||2–0||Anthony White||Submission (punches)||XKK: Trials||August 27, 2005||1||N/A||Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Win||1–0||Jake Hoyer||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UCS - Throwdown at the T-Bar||July 30, 2005||1||N/A||Ellsworth, Minnesota, United States|
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Condit vs. Alves". UFC.com. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- John Heinis (September 13, 2013). "Nik Lentz to Conor McGregor: 'You're as Fragile as an Overdone Egg'". Bleacher Report.
- "Nik Lentz - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- "UFC Fight Night 20 recap". mmajunkie. January 12, 2010. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010.
- "Dan Hardy criticizes Nik Lentz for his win at all cost style against Andre Winner, accuses him of cheating". MMABay.
- Steve Cofield. "Lentz takes slow-paced fight against Winner at UFC 118". Yahoo!.
- "Nik Lentz vs. Tyson Griffin targeted for UFC 123". mmajunkie.com. September 9, 2010.
- "Lightweights Nik Lentz and Waylon Lowe meet at UFN 24". mmadiehards.com. 2011-02-17.
- "UFC Fight Night 24 play by play and live results". MMAjunkie.
- "Oliveira vs. Lentz on June 26th". ufc.com. 2011-04-27.
- "PSAC: UFC on Versus 4's Oliveira vs. Lentz overturned, declared a no-contest". mmajunkie.com. June 29, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011.
- Morgan, John; Stupp, Dann (June 26, 2011). "UFC on Versus 4 bonuses: Kongo, Lauzon, Oliveira and Lentz earn $50K awards". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Nik Lentz vs Mark Bocek fight slated for Dec. 10 in Toronto". mmamania.com. 2011-09-12.
- "Evan Dunham vs Nik Lentz announced for UFC on Fox 2 with Paul Sass scratched". mmamania.com. December 26, 2011.
- "UFC on FOX 2 bonuses: Johnson, Oliveira, Dunham, Lentz earn $65K awards". mmajunkie.com. January 28, 2012. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
- "UFC 150 in Denver adds Lentz-Mitsuoka". mmajunkie.com. June 4, 2012. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
- "UFC 150 results: Nik Lentz dominates Eiji Mitsuoka in featherweight debut". June 12, 2012.
- "Diego Nunes meets Nik Lentz when UFC returns to Brazil on Jan. 19". mmajunkie.com. November 2, 2012. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012.
- Mike Chiapetta (2013-01-19). "UFC on FX 7 results: Nik Lentz grinds out win over Diego Nunes". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- Staff (2013-03-25). "Nik Lentz replaces Manny Gamburyan, meets Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 8". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- Steven Marrocco (2013-05-19). "UFC on FX 8 results/photos: Nik Lentz grinds out win over Hacran Dias". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
- John Petit (2013-08-23). "Nik Lentz Vs Dennis Bermudez Signed For UFN 31". fighters.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Ariel Helwani (2013-09-17). "Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz booked for UFC on FOX 9". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Staff (February 20, 2014). "Manny Gamburyan vs. Nik Lentz added to UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- Jacob Cooper (July 10, 2014). "Charles Oliveira vs Nik Lentz 2 heading to UFC Fight Night 50". cagepages.com. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Staff (2014-09-04). "UFC Fight Night 44 weigh-in results: Headliners good, Oliveira four pounds heavy". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-04.
- Matt Erickson (2014-09-05). "Charles Oliveira pulled from Nik Lentz bout at UFC Fight Night 50". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- Staff (2014-11-25). "Nik Lentz vs. Thiago Tavares rematch set for UFC Fight Night 60 in Colorado". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-11-25.
- Staff (2015-02-03). "Nik Lentz faces newcomer Levan Makashvili at next week's UFC Fight Night 60". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
- Mike Bohn (2015-02-13). "Nik Lentz vs Levan Makashvili scratched from UFC Fight Night 60 lineup". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- Staff (2015-05-14). "UFC Fight Night 67: Condit vs. Alves fight card lineup finalized". themmareport.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- Thomas Myers (2015-05-31). "UFC Fight Night 67 results: Charles Oliveira submits Nik Lentz late in action-packed rematch". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- Jason Henderson (2015-05-31). "UFC Fight Night 67 Bonus Awards". fightofthenight.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- Staff (2015-08-25). "Nik Lentz moving back to lightweight, meets Danny Castillo at UFC on FOX 17". themmareport.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
- John Morgan (2015-12-19). "UFC on FOX 17 results: Nik Lentz outworks Danny Castillo for split-decision win". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
- Tristen Critchfield (2016-06-15). "UFC 203 update: Mairbek Taisumov to face Nik Lentz on Sept. 10 in Cleveland". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
- Danny Segura (2016-09-01). "Nik Lentz gets late replacement Michael McBride at UFC 203". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-09-10). "UFC 203 results: Nik Lentz stops gritty and awkward Michael McBride with second-round TKO". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
- Danny Segura (2016-12-15). "Three new bouts added to UFC 208". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
- Ben Fowlkes (2017-02-11). "UFC 208 results: Islam Makhachev works over Nik Lentz for dominant unanimous decision". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-07-23). "Nik Lentz, Will Brooks agree to fight each other at UFC 216 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
- Staff (2017-10-06). "UFC 216 loses a featured prelim on eve of event". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-10-16). "Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz targeted for UFC Fight Night 121". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- "UFC Fight Night 121 results: Nik Lentz chokes out 5-1 favorite, ex-teammate Will Brooks". MMAjunkie. 2017-11-19. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
- Mazique, Brian. "UFC Fight Night 121 Werdum Vs. Tybura Results: Bonus Winners, Highlights, Analysis, Attendance, Gate". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
- Staff (2018-04-16). "Nik Lentz vs. Leonardo Santos is 13th addition to UFC Utica". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
- "Leonardo Santos injured, out of UFC Utica fight with Nik Lentz". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
- Alexander K. Lee (2018-05-01). "David Teymur steps in to fight Nik Lentz at UFC Utica". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- "UFC Fight Night 131 results: David Teymur outworks gritty Nik Lentz for decision". MMAjunkie. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
- "Gray Maynard returns to lightweight vs. Nik Lentz at UFC 229 in Las Vegas". MMAjunkie. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "UFC 229 play-by-play and live results". MMAjunkie. 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
- Marcel Dorff (2018-12-13). "Scott Holtzman meets Nik Lentz during UFC on ESPN 1 in Phoenix". mmadna.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-12-13.
- "UFC on ESPN 1 results: Nik Lentz grind tops Scott Holtzman in gutsy battle". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-02-18.