FightNetwork.com has confirmed recent rumors that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (30-4-1) and Cheick Kongo (11-3) will clash in a heavyweight bout at UFC 79 on December 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Earlier reports that Noguiera would face Frank Mir now appear to be completely erroneous.
Barring the possible signing of PRIDE FC champion, Fedor Emelianenko, in the next few months, the winner of the fight will more than likely earn the next crack at current titleholder, Randy Couture, in early 2008.
"Minotauro" is the former PRIDE FC division champion who made his Octagon debut with a decision win over Heath Herring at UFC 73: "Stacked" on July 7. He's about as complete a fighter as it gets, boasting fantastic Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and a sharp stand up game.
Kongo, on the other hand, is a devastating kickboxer. The Parisian does not perform well when the fight goes to the ground, which could mean big trouble against a talent like "Big Nog."
"The French Sensation" earned a spot near the top of the heap with his recent decision win over Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 75: "Champion vs. Champion" last month. Kongo has a solid record in the UFC (5-1) since joining the organization in 2006.
UFC 79 features the 170-pound title fight between welterweight champion Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. BJ Penn is expected to fight either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson for the lightweight title. And Wanderlei Silva is expected to make his much anticipated return to the UFC on the New Year's Eve weekend event.
Stay tuned for more updates ... this card is turning out to be rock solid.