According to the Houston Chronicle, UFC middleweight fighter Nathan Marquardt (25-6-2) could fight for the 185-pound crown sometime this year.
The seven-time King of Pancrase — who is also a perfect 4-0 in the Octagon since joining the organization in 2005 — is fresh off a dominant victory over Dean Lister (9-5) at UFC Fight Night 8.
It was a performance that even impressed perhaps his toughest critic, trainer Greg Jackson.
Here's a snip from Jackson:
"That was one of the best-executed game plans I've ever seen. He went out and played his game and kept Lister from his. That's what fighting is all about.... I think he [Marquardt] is underexposed but not underappreciated. I know the UFC likes him, but I'm not sure why his fight (against Lister) wasn't on TV."
Indeed, the UFC's inability to better market one of its brightest stars is a riddle wrapped in a conundrum.
And now, UFC President Dana White is talking title shot?
Strange, but Marquardt more than deserves the opportunity.
However, there is currently a logjam at 185, with two fights on the horizon that will have major implications within the division.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (20-2) will fight Jason MacDonald (18-7) at UFC 68 on March 3, and Mike Swick (10-1) will clash with Yushin Okami (19-3) at UFC 69 on April 7.
Current titleholder Anderson Silva (18-4) submitted Travis Lutter (9-4) at UFC 67 two weeks ago, escaping the bout injury free sans some sore knees.
All things being equal — and the winners of these fights do not suffer injuries — it'll be interesting to see who is next in line for a crack at "The Spider."
Franklin wants his title back, MacDonald is on a tear, Swick feels he's overdue and Okami already has a win over Silva — all will no doubt get serious consideration with victories in their next bouts.
But, what about Nate?
He seems content to wait in the wings until the inevitable call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva comes, offering him the chance to cash in on his patience.
At least we'll get to see that fight ...