Two of the middleweight division's top contenders will face off on the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) next fight card in Japan as former 185-pound title challenger Yushin Okami is scheduled to meet former Bellator world champion Hector Lombard at UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" on March 3.
UFC officials confirmed the match up between "Thunder" and "Lightning" on Monday evening.
Okami (28-7) defeated Belcher for the second time in his career at UFC 155, proving he is still the superior fighter six years after the first meeting. The win was Okami's second in a row and moved the Japanese fighter back into a contender's role after a two-fight slump left many wondering how much he has left in the tank.
The 31-year-old is 12-4 under the UFC banner and has won 13 of his 28 fights by decision.
Lombard (32-3-1, 1 NC) picked up his first UFC victory in impressive fashion, taking out Palhares in violent fashion in Australia. After a lackluster effort in his octagon debut against Tim Boetsch last July, the 34-year-old finally delivered what fans were hoping for with the highlight reel finish.
The Cuban joined the UFC ranks to fight for the middleweight championship, and it would be hard to argue he doesn't deserve an opportunity to fight for the gold with a win over Okami.
It is likely Okami vs. Lombard will air on the UFC on FUEL TV 8 main card, which will be broadcast on FUEL TV, with the event prelims expected to stream on Facebook.
UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" goes down March 3 from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva returns to the light heavyweight division when he takes on Brian Stann in the main event of the evening. Also on the main card is a heavyweight bout of Stefan Struve vs. Mark Hunt and a lightweight contest of Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi.