The UFC debut of lightweight star Antonio McKee has just taken one step closer to becoming a reality.
"Mandingo" has reportedly reached a verbal agreement to square off against Jacob Volkmann at the upcoming UFC 125 event, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 1 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to several published reports.
The 25-3 lightweight, who has not dropped a bout in more than seven years (2003), indicated last month that he had reached a four-fight deal with the UFC after spending the past year and a half competing for Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC).
McKee recently finished Luciano Azevedo at MFC 26: 'Retribution" back on Sept. 10 for his fifteenth straight win.
Standing in his way will be Volkmann, who shaved off a few pounds to throw hands in the UFC lightweight division after back-to-back losses at welterweight.
New and certainly improved at 155-pounds, "Christmas" racked up consecutive wins in the second half of his 2010 fight campaign, taking decision wins over Ronnys Torres and Paul Kelly.
A victory over McKee would certainly go a long way in establishing him as a force in the UFC's crowded lightweight division.
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann and Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera are also expected to be announced for the Jan. 1 pay-per-view in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates to this still-developing fight card.