It's make or break time, gentlemen.
Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold will try to prove he's still relevant in the division title race when he squares off against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) "Barbarian" Tim Boetsch, as part of the upcoming UFC 166: "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3" pay-per-view (PPV) event at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 19, 2013.
ESPN brought word of the 185-pound pairing earlier today.
Rockhold (10-2) was put out to pasture by Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut, victimized by the Brazilian's spinning heel kick in the main event of UFC on FX 8, which took place earlier this year in Santa Catarina. It was the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product's first loss in nearly six years, but effectively eliminated him from the middleweight title lottery.
Things haven't exactly panned out for Boetsch, either. After getting whipped by Constantinos Philippou at UFC 155 last December, he fell into an 0-2 hole against the resurgent Mark Munoz as part of the UFC 162 extravaganza earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Another loss and it could be the pink slip.
UFC 166 will be headlined by a heavyweight championship trilogy bout as reigning division kingpin Cain Velasquez puts his title on the line against Junior dos Santos in what will be the third meeting between the pair in less than two years.
That's not all.
Top UFC lightweight contenders Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez are also slated to hook 'em up in a bout that could have serious 155-pound title implications, while Roy Nelson returns to the Octagon to throw hands opposite Daniel Cormier.