Nate Diaz and former Strikeforce fighter Josh Thomson won't have to travel very far for their next fight, as the two will be meeting in San Jose for a lightweight battle at UFC on Fox 7, according to CSN Bay Area.
Interestingly enough, both fighters are coming off losses in championship bouts.
Thomson recently fell just short of upsetting former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez en route to a contentious split-decision loss last May, while current UFC champion Benson Henderson manhandled Diaz at UFC on Fox 5.
The fight will have added significance for Thompson, as he will get another chance to knock off a member of the "Skrap Pack"—an infamous group of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fighters consisting of Nate, his brother Nick Diaz, Melendez and middleweight contender Jake Shields.
Speaking of which, Henderson will also be headlining the card against Melendez in a "champion vs. champion" match, attempting to secure a third consecutive defense of his UFC title.
Here's how the card looks so far, with a total of four bouts rumored and confirmed:
Both Diaz and Thompson will walk into the Octagon facing "must-win" situations in order to stay within reach of the UFC lightweight title hunt. Thompson is the lower-ranked of the two, so the odds may favor Diaz despite his lower win total and career MMA fight count.
At a glance, Thompson will have to grind his way to a decision—in 24 fights, the younger Diaz brother has never been stopped via KO or TKO.
Both Diaz and Thompson are also black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, although Diaz could be the superior grappler with 11 submission wins to Thompson's nine.
Still, choking out Thompson won't come easily, as "The Punk" has never been tapped once in his 25-fight career.