Dunham UDFormer lightweight champion Sean Sherk (33-4-1 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is expected to clash with fast-rising prospect Evan Dunham (11-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 119.
News of the impending match-up was relayed today to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) by sources close to the promotion, who said that both fighters have agreed to the matchup and are expected to put pen to paper shortly.
UFC 119 takes place Sept. 25 at the 18,000-seat Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and airs live on pay-per-view.
The position of Sherk vs. Dunham on UFC 119's fight card is unknown at this time, though its all but certain to grace the upper tier of televised bouts.
Sherk, 36, has not been seen in the cage since UFC 98, when he dropped a unanimous decision loss to now-champion Frankie Edgar. He was originally scheduled to fight Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 108 but fell prey to the event's injury curse after agreeing to fight Jim Miller on the night's main card.
Two months later, Sherk was scratched from a bout with Clay Guida at UFC on Versus 1 due to another undisclosed injury. Since then, the former champion has been whisper-quiet on his career plans.
A disciple of Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts, Sherk dropped to lightweight when the UFC re-introduced the 155-pound belt at UFC 64. In a bloody fight, he defeated Kenny Florian to become the promotion's second champion in the weight class.
Sherk defended the belt against Hermes Franca at UFC 73, but his title was taken away five months later when the California State Athletic Commission flagged him for performance enhancers. He steadfastly denied the use of any illegal substances.
Sherk returned to action almost a year later and failed to regain his title at UFC 84 when B.J. Penn ‚ who had scooped up the undisputed belt against Joe Stevenson at UFC 80, beat him by TKO.
The 28-year-old Dunham, meanwhile, put his jiu-jitsu black belt to impressive use with a decision victory over division standout Tyson Griffin at UFC 115. The Oregon native surprised many fans by controlling Griffin, a well-known escape artist, on the canvas and keeping back control throughout much of the fight.
The victory built on another savvy grappling performance when Dunham armbarred "The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Efrain Escudero and picked up an extra $30,000 check for "Submission of the Night."
As it stands, Dunham is the only top-shelf lightweight in the UFC to sport an undefeated record.