With Jake Shields UFC debut practically a foregone conclusion, the wheels are in motion to find him a suitable opponent for his return to the 170-pound division.
Not as easy as it sounds.
A quick run through the SB Nation top ten rankings will yield plenty of suitors; however, everyone with a spot high enough on the totem pole to welcome the former Strikeforce and Elite XC champion has already secured a date to the big dance.
That leaves Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago -- and the Dane already disposed of the crafty Brazilian at UFC 115 just last month, effectively securing his position as the last man standing.
And a win over Shields would likely ease some of the pain he felt when his desired opponent, Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy, was paired up with Carlos Condit for the upcoming UFC 120 event across the pond.
MMA Fighting is reporting that "sources close to the situation" have pegged "The Hitman" as Shields first opponent and that UFC 121 in Anaheim is "a likely possibility."
The Cesar Gracie product has remained undefeated over five years across the span of 14 fights. Some of his most recent victims include Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler and Jason Miller.
Kampmann has done some damage himself, welcoming another high profile welterweight to the Octagon when former WEC stud Carlos Condit debuted at UFC Fight Night 19 back in April 2009.
In addition to the win over "Natural Born Killer," Kampmann is 13-2 since 2004 and like Shields, has also done time as a middleweight.
Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampmann at UFC 121 -- how does that sound, Maniacs?
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for an official update from the UFC in the coming days.