Marquardt, Sonnen to meet at UFC 110

A middleweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt is in the works for UFC 110. That’s the word from Joe Ferraro, who reported the bout today on Sportsnet.ca. Ferraro says that Sonnen and Marquardt have agreed to the bout and are awaiting bout agreements.

The UFC hoped to book a fight between Marquardt and Dan Henderson, but the chances of that match happening are getting smaller by the day. With Henderson rumored to be heading to Strikeforce and Anderson Silva not yet willing to grant Marquardt another title shot, the former King of Pancrase will instead face Sonnen.

Sonnen, 32, saw his stock rose substantially with a dominating upset victory over former highly-ranked middleweight Yushin Okami at UFC 104 last month. Marquardt last appeared at UFC 102, where he flattened jiu-jitsu specialist Demian Maia in 21 seconds with a dramatic right hand that sent Maia crashing face-first to the canvas. The knockout earned Marquardt Knockout of the Night honors and moved him to the top of the contender list for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

UFC 110 will take place in February at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.

What it means: Marquardt probably deserves a title shot. He already lost to Silva once, but the first match was two years ago and “The Great” has grown exponentially as a fighter since then. Silva believes that he beat Marquardt convincingly enough that there’s no need for a rematch, but he won’t be able to keep up that stance forever. A Marquardt victory over Sonnen would almost assuredly grant him a rematch with the champion.

For Sonnen, this fight is an opportunity to move into the upper echelon of the middleweight division. Yushin Okami was considered by many hardcore fans to be the true number one contender to Silva’s belt, and Sonnen handled him easily. A victory over Marquardt moves him one step closer to a title shot.

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