Some fans had their doubts, but it is indeed on!
Despite rumors and speculation that the match up between undefeated heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez (5-0) and mixed martial arts veteran Heath Herring (28-14) was scratched from UFC 99 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on June 13, the promotion today made the bout official.
And the clash -- the stiffest test to date in the bright young career of Velesquez -- has also received second billing just below the 195-pound main event between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva. The UFC 99 fight card now appears complete, which we will get to shortly.
In the meantime let's once again talk about a great heavyweight showdown.
Velasquez most recently mugged Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 for a round and a half en route to a second round technical knockout victory. It marked just the first time that a Velasquez opponent has made it out of the opening frame.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) revealed after the fight that he was disappointed with the dominating performance and vowed to come back better than an ever in his next appearance. He'll need to do just that to have success against a crafty vet such as Herring.
Velasquez now holds wins inside the Octagon against Stojnic, Jake O'Brien and Brad Morris.
"The Texas Crazy Horse" has not seen action since a unanimous decision loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 87: "Seek and Destroy" back in August 2008. He sustained a serious eye injury during the fight, which required him to remain on the sidelines for the remainder of the 2009 fight season.
Lesnar, on the other hand, went on to defeat Randy Couture via technical knockout nearly three months later to capture the division crown.
Herring has had mixed results since joining the promotion in early 2007, losing three fights and winning two. He has gone the distance in all five of those fights. Drawing a fighter with a strong wrestling background who keeps the pedal to the metal throughout the fight such as Velasquez is going to be difficult to handle.
However, Herring has been in against the best in the business and is very capable wherever the fight ends up.
For the latest on UFC 99, including rumored match ups, check out our event archive right here.