Hats off to Hatsu.
Japanese import Hatsu Hioki, one of the few viable contenders in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight division, has opted to spin the wheel one more time rather than solve the 145-pound puzzle.
And the path to Jose Aldo, which begins at UFC on FX 4 on June 22, 2012 in Atlantic City, NJ, is paved with Ricardo Lamas.
That's where "The Bully" will try to end Hioki's six-fight winning streak and make an argument for a title shot of his own -- assuming he can make a better case than the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung, who also try to get "in the mix" next month in Fairfax.
UFC President Dana White explains the matchmaking process to Fox Sports after the jump.
"Many pegged Hioki as the next possible challenger for Jose Aldo's title, but he wants one more test before going for the belt. In his way is Lamas, who has proven to be a tough competitor for anyone to deal with, especially since moving down to featherweight and finishing both opponents at 145 pounds. Both guys have verbally agreed to the match."
UFC on FX 4 will feature a lightweight main event of Gray Maynard vs. Clay Guida, as both powerful wrestlers try to scratch and claw their way back into the 155-pound title hunt.
Elsewhere on the card, former middleweight mainstay (and "Garden State" native) Dan Miller will make his welterweight debut against Ricardo Funch while Sam Stout completes his "King" trilogy against Spencer Fisher.
For the latest UFC on FX 4 news and notes check out our complete event archive right here.