Former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has inked his half of a contract to compete for the vacant heavyweight title against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: "Breaking Point" on February 2, 2008, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to FightNetwork.com.
Monte Cox -- who represents "The Maine-aic" -- indicates that all that remains to make the bout official is a signature from "Minotauro."
Here's a snip from Cox:
"Tim signed the contract, and we haven't heard anything else about it -- if Nogueira has signed his contract or what."
Despite the official confirmation, Cox reveals in the report that Sylvia has "already begun his training camp for the championship bout."
That puts to rest recent speculation that Cheick Kongo was still in the mix to challenge for the belt. In fact, according to the article, Justin McCully has been approached about taking on the Parisian that same evening.
An answer from McCully is expected any day -- he is currently overseas with Team Punishment teammate Tito Ortiz visiting American troops on a USO Tour.
The match up between Sylvia and "Big Nog" would serve as the main event of the evening, alongside the co-feature of Frank Mir against Brock Lesnar.
It now seems more likely than ever that a replacement for recently resigned division champion Randy Couture will be determined on SuperBowl weekend.
For the most up-to-date rumored UFC 81 fight card click here.