Brown gets Top 10 opponent

Matt Brown’s unlikely march towards the top of the

UFC’s welterweight division may have a new but welcome

roadblock in its path. Brown wanted a top 10 opponent next, and it

appears he’ll get one, as FOX Sports has learned that the UFC

plans to match him up with No. 8 ranked Tarec Saffiedine in

December.

Brown, riding a six-fight win streak, is coming off a 29-second

knockout of Mike Pyle in Boston on Aug. 17.

On Thursday, UFC president Dana White confirmed the

promotion’s plan to FOX Sports, but said that the pairing is

dependent upon Saffiedine’s health. The former Strikeforce

welterweight champion was forced out of his expected UFC debut in

July due to an undisclosed injury, and is still on the mend, but he

recently told mixed martial arts media outlet MMAFighting.com that

he hopes to be back in the cage by the end of the year, a timeline

which would fit the UFC’s plan.

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Brown recently cracked the rankings at No. 10 after his

dismantling of the highly regarded veteran Pyle. The win also

marked his fourth straight knockout victory, as he continues an

extraordinary turnaround from a time where it appeared his UFC run

was in jeopardy.

When 2011 ended, Brown (18-11) had lost four of his last five

and was barely above .500 for his career, but it was his exciting

style that kept him on the roster, and he’s managed to

complement his dynamic striking with extreme aggression and

finishing instincts to build forward momentum.

After his last fight, he acknowledged his goal was to continue

marching towards a date with longtime champion Georges St-Pierre. A

win over Saffiedine would add greatly to his cause.

Saffiedine (14-3) excelled during his Strikeforce run, going 7-1

and capturing the championship with a strong unanimous decision

victory over former UFC No. 1 middleweight contender Nate

Marquardt. Known for a kick-heavy offense, the 26-year-old Belgian

is a graceful striker, a sharp contrast to Brown, who prefers to

stalk his opponents around the cage and fight from inside.

White was not sure which December show would be the most likely

landing spot for the matchup. As of now, there is only one

officially announced card for the month, UFC 168 on Dec. 28, but at

least two other events are probable.