The winner of UFC 122 headliner between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami has been guaranteed a shot at the middleweight belt.
The promotion announced the news earlier today.
The middleweight belt was defended by Anderson Silva against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 this past summer and the champion is set to defend it yet again at UFC 126 against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort.
Marquardt’s road back to a title shot has been a bumpy one, putting together nice streaks only to have them cut short after disappointing losses. Between September of 2008 and August of 2009, he earned victories over Martin Kampmann, Wilson Gouveia, and Demian Maia, but a loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 derailed his run. However, a technical knockout over Rousimar Palhares at “UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares” has him one win away from another shot at Anderson Silva.
Okami, meanwhile, has been quietly dominant over a successful career. He debuted in the UFC in 2006 with a victory over Alan Belcher and has compiled a 9-2 record with the promotion. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak with victories over Lucio Linhares and Mark Munoz.
The main event bout is set for UFC 122 in Oberhausen, Germany on November 13. The event will be aired free on Spike TV via same-day tape delay due to the time differences. Other bouts set for the card include Amir Sadollah vs. Johny Hendricks, Denis Siver vs. Andre Winner, and Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara.