Former lightweight champion Sean Sherk (33-4-1) has been penciled in to collide with promotion sophomore Rafael Oliveira (9-2) at UFC 108, which is slated for the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 2, as reported by Wisconsin Combat Sports.
A recent shoulder injury forced Sherk out of his 155-pound match-up against Gleison Tibau at UFC 104: "Machida vs. Shogun" at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., back on Oct. 24.
At the ripe old age of 35, the "Muscle Shark" looked as though he was heading back into title contention with a unanimous decision win over Tyson Griffin at UFC 90: "Silva vs. Cote," demonstrating much improved striking skills.
Primarily known for his overwhelming wrestling attack, Sherk’s new multidimensional approach earned him and Griffin the "Fight of the Night."
Unfortunately, he may have become too reliant on his stand-up and not his wrestling, which was a big factor is his divisional dominance for so many years. That helped Frankie Edgar outpoint him en route to a unanimous decision loss at UFC 98: "Evans vs. Machida" back in May.
Which Sherk shows up for the Oliveira fight remains to be seen.
The "Tractor" had won three straight prior to coughing up a unanimous decision to Nik Lentz in his Octagon debut at UFC 104: "Machida vs. Shogun" just last month. Like Sherk, he is also an aggressive fighter with a strong rate of finishing fights, having stopped 75 percent of his opponents before the final bell.
Finishing the former champ won't be easy -- only two men have been able to do it in 38 attempts.
UFC 108 will produce the next heavyweight number one contender when former Interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira takes on surging prospect Cain Velasquez in a bid to determine who will face the winner of Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar at some point in 2010.
As expected, former 205-pound champion, Rashad Evans, will collide with Brazilian slugger, Thiago Silva, in the co-featured fight of the night.
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