Middleweight contenders Wilson Gouveia and Nate Marquardt will square off at UFC 95 on February 21st in London, England, MMAFrenzy.com has confirmed.
Despite four-straight wins at light heavyweight, Gouveia, who trains out of American Top Team, dropped to the 185-pound weight class following a second-round knockout to Goran Reljic in May. In his middleweight debut, Gouveia submitted Ryan Jensen in the second round. He was then matched up against proven middleweight Jason MacDonald and submitted him with strikes in the opening round. Despite the impressive victories in his first two fights in the new division, Gouveia failed to make weight for his bout against MacDonald and needs to prove in his upcoming matchup with Marquardt that he can consistently hit the 185-pound limit, which would be required for a potential future title shot.
A former Pancrase champion, Marquardt began his UFC career with four-straight victories and challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight title at UFC 73 in July 2007, losing via TKO late in the opening round. After rebounding from his first loss in over four year with a win over Jeremy Horn, Marquardt lost a controversial bout against Thales Leites after being deducted 2 points for questionable infractions. He then bounced back with a 1-minute, 22-second TKO of Martin Kampmann in September at UFC 88.
The winner of the February matchup between Gouveia and Marquardt will put themselves in prime position to earn a shot at the middleweight belt in 2009.