MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop will take on TUF 10 finalist Brendan Schaub as part of the UFC 128 Pay-Per-View televised main card at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on March 19, according to a Tuesday report from Fighters Only.
Verbal agreements are in place and the contracts are expected to be signed shortly according to the report.
Frank Mir and Stefan Struve had been named as potential opponents for Schaub prior to this announcement.
After suffering a first round knockout loss to Roy Nelson in the TUF 10 Finale in December of last year, Schaub (7-1) has put together three straight wins over Chase Gormley, Chris Tuchscherer, both first round stoppages, and then most recently, a unanimous decision against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 121 in October.
It is hard to believe it was nearly four years ago when Cro Cop (27-8-2, 1 NC) made his UFC debut. There were such high hopes for the Croatian striker, yet, he has never looked the same since Gabriel Gonzaga knocked him out at UFC 70.
Still, he has managed to do enough to keep his job with the UFC so far, which in itself is no easy task these days. And even though few of them were pretty wins, he is currently 4-4 within the promotion.
Recent reports from Cro Cop suggest he is in better shape than he has been in years and believes 2011 is going to be a big year for him, even rivaling 2006, he says, which was when he won the PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix and cemented his legacy as one of the all-time greats.
Schaub is going to be a tough test for the veteran though. Cro Cop is coming off a September knockout loss to Frank Mir at UFC 119 and another loss here could certainly jeopardize his future within the organization.
UFC 128 will be headlined with a light heavyweight title fight between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. “Suga” Rashad Evans. Other bouts expected to take place on this card include Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau.