Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
Nate Marquardt (26-7) and Thales Leites (12-1) are once again slated to meet in a middleweight showdown this time at UFC 85 at the O2 Arena in London, England, on June 7, according to GracieMag.com.
The two fighters have been booked to face off on two previous occasions -- Ortiz vs. Shamrock: "The Final Chapter" in October 2006 and UFC 81: "Breaking Point" earlier this year -- but both were scrapped for different reasons (visa issues and broken hand, respectively.
Accordingly, it's a match up with which Leites is very familiar.
Here's a snip from the Brazilian:
"After waiting for so long, he has been really well studied. I had already seen two of his fights before, I know he's dangerous, experienced and really aggressive. He knows how to fight standing and on the ground, he's a tough guy to take down and has a good guillotine."
Indeed, Marquardt sunk in a vicious fight-ending guillotine choke to finish Leites' replacement at UFC 81, Jeremy Horn, in the second round of their encounter.
He has a perfect record inside the Octagon sans a technical knockout loss to UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva back in July 2007.
Leites -- a Nova Uniao Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt -- has not competed since submitting Ryan Jensen with an armbar at UFC 74: "Respect" in August 2007. He's on a three-fight win streak since dropping his Octagon debut to Martin Kampmann via unanimous decision in November 2006.
The hand injury that he sustained training for the Marquardt bout in February has healed, according to the report, and hopefully both fighters can avoid drama outside the cage leading up to the bout and hook 'em up once and for all.
For the most recent rumored UFC 85 fight card click here.