by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
A middleweight contender match has been readied for the UFC’s first trip to the Pacific Northwest in August.
Standouts Demian Maia and Nate Marquardt will face off at UFC 102 in Portland, Ore. on Aug. 29. MMAWeekly.com first learned of the bout’s possibility on Tuesday afternoon and Maia has since confirmed the match-up on his official website, although Marquardt’s camp has yet to confirm the bout.
Maia, 31, has taken the 185-pound division by storm since his debut at UFC 77 in October of 2007, finishing all of his opponents by submission. The Abu Dhabi champ is currently headed to Las Vegas to begin training at Wanderlei Silva’s new gym. He is undefeated in 10 professional appearances.
Marquardt, 30, devastated Wilson Gouveia in his last appearance at UFC 95, stopping the heavy-handed Brazilian by strikes. On a second road to title glory, the Greg Jackson-trained middleweight has won three of his last four fights since losing a first bid against champion Anderson Silva at UFC 73. A 10-year veteran of the sport, he carries a professional record of 28-8-2.