Following weeks of searching and speculation, it appears that the UFC has finally secured a main event for UFC 105 in Manchester, England. A light heavyweight matchup between Randy Couture and Brandon Vera is in the process of being booked for the November 14 event, according to BloodyElbow.
MMAFrenzy.com reported just a few days ago that the headlining bout would be Dan Henderson vs. Nate Marquardt, however when negotiations stalled, an alternative had to be found. Matt Hughes had even agreed to move up to middleweight and challenge title-holder Anderson Silva, but Silva would not agree to the bout, according to Inside Fights.
Randy Couture is a long time staple of the UFC, and will be moving back down to light heavyweight for this bout. He was just in action in a unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 102 on August 29th. Couture will be looking to end a two fight skid in Manchester, while trying to fight his way back into contention in the light heavyweight division, a division in which he previously held the championship belt before losing it to Chuck Liddell in April of 2005. He has since held the UFC heavyweight belt, which he lost to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in November, 2008.
Vera was also last in action at UFC 102, where he earned a unanimous decision victory over Krzysztof Soszynski. In his matchup with Couture he will be looking to continue a two fight win streak, since suffering defeat to Keith Jardine in October of 2008. Vera started out strong in the UFC with first round victories over Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva, and Frank Mir and even claimed he would one day hold the belt at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. However, since his victory over Mir, Vera has only gone 3-3 and hasn’t looked nearly as impressive as he did in those first three UFC outings.
UFC 105 is expected to air on Spike TV and also features Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang and Dan Hardy vs. Dong Hyun Kim.
Update: The UFC has officially confirmed this bout as the headliner for UFC 105.