Marcus Davis (14-4) will look to begin another extended win streak when he returns to action against Paul Kelly (7-0) at UFC 89: "Leben vs. Bisping" at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 18.
MMAmania.com confirmed the potential welterweight showdown this evening; however, both bout agreements have not been signing -- it's a verbal commitment at this time.
"The Irish Hand Grenade" was upended for the first time in 11 consecutive bouts thanks to a unanimous decision loss to Mike Swick at UFC 85: "Bedlam" last month. It was the first loss for the former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) since his Octagon debut against Melvin Guillard at TUF 2 Finale in 2006.
Despite the defeat, Davis still remains in the 170-pound title hunt. Nonetheless, a win against Kelly is critical if he wants to stay among the top players in a very crowded division. This will mark Davis' fifth consecutive fight in the United Kingdom if it comes to fruition.
Kelly is an undefeated English prospect who was victorious in his Octagon debut, outpointing fellow countryman, Paul Taylor, on all three judges scorecards at UFC 80: "Rapid Fire" earlier this year. He was booked to return at UFC 85: "Bedlam" last month against Jonathan Goulet; however, he sustained a finger injury during training and was forced to bail out of the showdown.
It's important to note that Kelly was previously rumored to be making a move down to lightweight and taking on Sam Stout. Clearly, that scenario is no longer in the cards.
UFC 89 features the middleweight tilt between Michael Bisping and Chris Leben, as well as a potential welterweight war when Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez meet in the center of the cage.