Top ranked middleweight contender Nate Marquardt (29-9-2) could be facing a very stiff test this summer as he is currently in talks to face muscular submission master Rousimar Palhares (11-2) at either UFC 117 on Aug. 7 in Oakland or UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston.
A source close to one of the fight camps alerted MMAmania.com to the potential match-up earlier today.
Marquardt was recently booked to take on the surging Alessio Sakara at UFC 116 on July 3; however, "Legionarius" was forced to withdraw earlier this week because of the death of his father.
"The Great" is coming off a fairly one-sided beat down at the hands of now number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen at UFC 109. Many people pegged the fight as an easy win for Marquardt, but Mr. Sonnen showed us all yet again what good 'ole American wrestling can do for you in this sport.
Prior to the Sonnen defeat, Nate had won three consecutive fights inside the Octagon, including a 21-second dismantling of Demian Maia at UFC 102. That win propelled Marquardt back to the top of the division, but another title shot was just not meant to be at the moment.
Palhares is coming off a controversial submission win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 back on March 27, failing to break the heel hook submission he applied in the first round in a timely fashion. The "Gorilla" tapped to no avail and referee Kevin Mulhall had to physically intervene upon calling the fight.
"Toquinho" later apologized for the hiccup, insisting there was no harm intended, but the NJSACB wasn't impressed with his post-fight apology and slapped him with a 90-day suspension.
He'll now look to redeem himself against perhaps his stiffest test to date (sans Dan Henderson) later this summer.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this showdown as it becomes available.