An explosive match up between heavy-handed welterweights Dan Hardy (20–6) and Rory Markham (16-4) is in the works for UFC 95 from the O2 Arena in London, England, on February 21, according to MMAWeekly.com.

Hardy lived up to his billing as the top British 170-pound prospect in his Octagon debut with a hard-fought split decision win over the crafty Akihiro Gono at UFC 89: "Bisping vs. Leben" last month.

With the win, "The Outlaw" kept his red hot win streak intact, taking nine of his last 10 fights. And the lone loss during that span was because of a disqualification. It won’t get any easier, however, for the former Cage Warriors welterweight champion … he has essentially been thrown into the deep end in a very deep division right off the bat.

Markham is a super tough competitor who has also been on a tear of his own of late. The former International Fight League (IFL) welterweight standout continued that success within the eight-sided cage, kicking off his UFC career with a bang … literally.

He nearly decapitated Brodie Farber at UFC Fight Night 14 back in July, earning "Knockout of the Night" honors for the scary finish. It has to rank among the best knockouts of the 2008 fight campaign.

But that’s Markham’s MO -- the Miletich-trained fighter has never gone the distance in 20 professional fights -- win or lose -- since his pro debut back in 2003. He comes to scrap and leaves it all on the table … just ask notable opponents such as Mike Pyle, Brad Blackburn and, of course, Mr. Farber.

For more on UFC 95, which could feature middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a light heavyweight main event special attraction, click here.

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