Middleweight contender Nate Marquadt will take on Chael Sonnen in February at UFC 110 in Austalia, according to Sportsnet.ca, which reports that bout agreements are pending for the matchup.
A fight between Marquardt and Dan Henderson was expected to take place early next year to determine a top-contender to fight the winner of an upcoming matchup between champ Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, but Henderson, who became a free agent following his July knockout of Michael Bisping, remains unsigned as he mulls over offers from both the UFC and Strikeforce and Marquardt and the UFC have been forced to move on without him.
Marquardt (29-8-2), a former King of Pancrase, began his UFC career with four-straight wins to earn a title shot, but suffered a first-round knockout to Silva in 2007. He’s remaining in title contention by winning four of his last five since the loss, dropping a controversial decision to Thales Leites while earning wins over the likes of Martin Kampmann and Demian Maia.
Sonnen (24-10-1) returned to the UFC in 2009 after earning back-to-back wins in the WEC, dropping his UFC debut against Demian Maia in February before rebounding with two-straight victories over Dan Miller and Yushin Okami.
UFC 110, which takes place on February 20 at the Acer Arena in Sydney, also includes Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Ben Rothwell, and Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski.
Pictured: Nate Marquardt