Falaniko "Niko" Vitale (26-8) is the likely opponent for Frank Trigg (16-6) at Strikeforce: "Payback" at the Broomfield Event Center in Denver, Colo., on October 3.
The promotion today alluded to the middleweight showdown in a press release; however, "Twinkle Toes" will have to first escape his showdown against Makoto Takimoto at Sengoku 4 on August 24 relatively unscathed.
"Niko" has been around the fight game for the better part of the last decade. He took his first professional mixed martial arts fight in October of 1999 -- a first round technical knockout win over Aaron Riley.
From July 2005 to January 2007 he lost four of five fights, including two knockouts to current Elite XC Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, a submission loss to Mayhem Miller, and a split decision to Jeremy Horn. Since then he's reeled off five wins in six fights, going (1-1) under the Strikeforce banner.
Some of his more notable wins include Dave Menne, Matt Lindland and Yushin Okami.
Vitale has been out of action since competing in and winning an x-1 Champions tournament-style event on January 26. He defeated both Ricky Shivers and Joey Guel during the event.
Trigg could possibly have a little cage rust himself. He has not yet competed in 2008. His last fight was in December 2007 -- a submission win over Edwin Dewees. That doesn't mean, however, that the 36-year-old doesn't still have some gas left in the tank.
His fourth round knockout loss to Robbie Lawler was one of the best fights of 2007. Throw in wins over Kazuo Misaki and Mayhem Miller recently as well, and Trigg has shown he can still fight at a high level and put on a good show.
Strikeforce is looking to showcase the middleweight division with this event. There are already two other intriguing 185-pound match ups on this card with Kazuo Misaki vs. Joe Riggs and a potential showdown between Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos and Trevor Prangley.
With recent reports that division champion Cung Le could be back in action by the year's end, this event might be the perfect opportunity for a challenger to emerge.