Top ranked middleweight contender Nate Marquardt (29-9-2) will be facing muscular submission master Rousimar Palhares (11-2) -- albeit a little later than expected -- now that the promotion has booked them to headline UFC Fight Night 22 on Sept. 15.
Originally scheduled for UFC 118: "Edgar vs. Penn 2" on Aug. 28 in Boston, the 185-pound contest will now replace the Fight Night 22 main event between Alan Belcher and Demian Maia after "The Talent" was forced off the card due to injury.
Sources close to one of the fight camps alerted MMAmania.com to the unexpected change late last night.
"The Great" is coming off a "Relentless" beat down at the hands of now number one middleweight contender Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 back in February. 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.
For the new and improved UFC Fight Night 22 line-up click here.