It may be last chance time for two light-heavyweights on the ropes.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that a bout pitting Steve Cantwell (7-5 MMA, 1-4 UFC) against Riki Fukuda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is targeted for UFC 144. MMAWeekly.com initially reported the matchup.
UFC 144 is set for Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Broadcast plans for the event have yet to be announced.
Cantwell desperately needs a win in the octagon since a successful crossover from the now-defunct WEC to the UFC. He submitted Razak Al-Hassan in gruesome fashion at "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops" only to drop four consecutive bouts against the likes of Luiz Cane, Brian Stann, Cyrille Diabate, and most recently, Mike Massenzio.
Prior to his skid, Cantwell carried a respectable 7-1 record and built momentum with a second-round TKO over Stann that won him the WEC light heavyweight title.
With four consecutive losses on his recent resume, Cantwell is all but certain to get a pink slip if his fight with Fukuda goes south.
Fukuda, meanwhile, is trying to build momentum after his UFC debut went bad. The former DEEP middleweight champion met "The Ultimate Fighter 11" veteran Nick Ring in his octagon debut at UFC 127 and lost a unanimous decision that snapped a seven-fight win streak. Many MMA observers felt he got the short end of the stick.