Middleweight standouts, Nate Marquardt (28-8-2) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia (10-0), are set to collide at UFC 102 from The Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, on August 29, according to Maia’s official site.
Marquardt is coming off a big win over Wilson Gouveia (12-5) at UFC 95, finishing the bout in the third round via technical knockout with a thrilling combination that looked like it had been lifted from a video game.
It was impressive to say the least.
Before that he demolished Martin Kampmann, beating him at his own game (the stand up) and forcing the Dane to rethink his career at 185 pounds and make the drop to welterweight.
Maia has been impressive in his own right as of late, too.
He has remained undefeated throughout his professional mixed martial arts career, winning five straight bouts inside the Octagon and earning four "submission of the night" bonuses during that span. His list of victims includes submission victories over the likes of Chael Sonnen (21-10-1), Nate Quarry (11-3) and Jason McDonald (21-12), among others.
It's safe to say Marquardt will do best to avoid going to the ground if possible against Maia.
With a win here both fighters would have a good case to argue for a title shot against 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva (24-4). However, they may have to get in line and wait behind the winner of Dan Henderson (24-7) vs. Michal Bisping (18-1) -- the two coaches from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) are set to square off at UFC 100 on July 11.
UFC 102 is expected to feature a main event between Randy "The Natural" Couture locking horns with Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira in a dream match-up that most fans expected to see before Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir played spoiler roles in the opening round of the mini heavyweight tournament created in late 2008 to crown an undisputed division champion.
Also slated for the main card is perennial light heavyweight contender Keith Jardine (14-5-1) who has been tapped to replace Forrest Griffin in a 205-pound slugfest against hard-hitting Brazilian import Thiago Silva (13-1).
UFC 102 is beginning to shape up quite nicely ... and we’re still four months away. To check out the latest UFC 102 fight card and rumors click here.