Ed Herman will take on Clifford Starks at UFC 143. | Photo: Dave Mandel

The UFC 143 fight bill continues to develop, as promotion officials recently announced that verbal agreements are in place for a middleweight confrontation between Ed Herman and Clifford Starks at the Feb. 4 event.

Emanating from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the event is headlined by an interim welterweight title fight pitting former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz against onetime WEC king Carlos Condit. The event airs live on pay-per-view and will also contain an additional 170-pound affair between Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce, as well as a featherweight scrap featuring Dustin Poirier and Ricardo Lamas.

Herman returned to the Octagon in June after spending nearly two years on the shelf due to injury. The 31-year-old “Ultimate Fighter” veteran won both of his fights in 2011, knocking out Tim Credeur at the “TUF 13” Finale before submitting Kyle Noke with an inverted heel hook at UFC Live 5 in August.

One year younger than his opponent, Starks, 30, has yet to taste defeat in his two years as a pro. The Arizona Combat Sports veteran posted five wins this year, capping 2011with a successful UFC debut over Dustin Jacoby at UFC 137. A five-time Rage in the Cage veteran, Starks has finished half of his career victims by knockout or submission.

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