UFC on Versus 4: Nate Marquardt vs Anthony Johnson welterweight fight in the works for June 26

via assets.sbnation.com

One of the promotion's largest middleweights is indeed dropping 15 pounds to fight one of its largest welterweights in a 170-pound bout.

Former number one 185-pound title contender Nate Marquardt will make his welterweight debut when he takes on Anthony Johnson in the UFC on Versus 4 main event at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., on June 26, 2011.

MMAWeekly.com passed along the interesting match up earlier this evening.

After his dominant decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 128: "Shogun vs. Jones" last month, muscle-bound Marquardt shocked just about everyone when he made an off-the-cuff remark that he was toying with the idea of dropping a weight class.

He was apparently serious, regardless of the fact that his long-time training partner, Georges St. Pierre, has ruled the 170-pound roost for the past six years.

"The Great," who company president Dana White essentially ruled a "choker" in big fights, has been maddeningly inconsistent at middleweight since a first round loss to division champion Anderson Silva in 2007.

He racked up an impressive record (6-3) since that time, but has struggled against the top tier of the division, losing to Thales Leites, Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami.

Perhaps he feels that shedding a few pounds will get him over the hump.

Johnson, meanwhile, most recently rebounded from an 18-month layoff to wrestle his way to a decision win over former number one division contender, Dan Hardy, at UFC Fight Night 24 just last month.

"Rumble" promised to sling leather prior to the showdown, but opted to "play it safe" and take the fight to the ground to grind out an important win, his first since a submission loss to Josh Koscheck way back in 2009.

Despite Marquardt's weight drop, don't expect size to be a factor in this fight -- Johnson is known to walk around way north of 200 pounds when not training to get into a fight.

Talk about some big boys.

UFC on Versus 4 will feature a bevy of marquee match ups, including a heavyweight brouhaha between savvy strikers Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo. In addition, Joe Stevenson will make his featherweight debut against Javier Vazquez, while Manny Gamburyan welcomes Tyson Griffin to the 145-pound division.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still-developing fight card.

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