Who's the next contender for the UFC light heavyweight title?
We may find out on September 25 when Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ryan Bader hook 'em up in a 205-pound scrum at the UFC 119 pay-per-view from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
MMA Weekly brought word of the potential match-up earlier today.
Nogueira (19-3) could have an opportunity to prove he's able to hang with high-caliber wrestlers when he tangles with Bader. There were more than a few lingering questions following his last performance, a controversial split decision victory over the very game Jason Brilz back at UFC 114.
"Minotoro" was controlled on his feet and on the ground but managed to weather the storm and come out ahead on points. It was a surprising follow-up to a dominating debut over Luis Arthur Cane last November.
Nevertheless, a convincing win over one of the division's top prospects could make the argument for a 2011 title fight, pending the return of the surgically repaired champion, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who is expected to battle "Sugar" Rashad Evans early next year.
Likewise, Bader (11-0) could vault himself into the top contender spot if he manages to win his fourth straight under the Zuffa banner.
"Darth" won The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 8 competition by knocking the block off Vinny Magalhaes at the December 2008 TUF Finale and hasn't looked back. After consecutive decision wins against Carmelo Marrero and Eric Schafer, Bader turned the lights out on Keith Jardine at UFC 110 in Australia.
Finishing Nogueira could be a feather in his cap -- and a one-way ticket to light heavyweight gold.
UFC 119 is expected to feature the lightweight return of Sean Sherk as he faces up-and-coming star Evan Dunham. Former TUF stars Matt Mitrione, Melvin Guillard and CB Dollaway are also expected to compete.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still-developing fight card.