UFC 125: Antonio McKee vs Jacob Volkmann possible for Jan. 1 in Las Vegas

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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.

UFC 125, though not officially announced, is expected to be headlined by division champion Frankie Edgar, as he defends his title in a rematch against undefeated Gray Maynard.

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.

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