According to reports out of Russia, former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez will fight the fast rising Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170 on February 22nd.

Melendez looked on the cusp of another title shot after emerging victorious in a stellar three round war with Diego Sanchez back in October, but with current champ Anthony Pettis expected to be out for much of 2014 due to knee surgery and rehabilitation, Melendez will have to take on fights in the mean time.

In Nurmagomedov he faces one of the most impressive emerging forces at 155lbs over the past couple of years. In total the Russian already has five victories to his credit in the UFC, and is a perfect 21-0 as a professional.

So, this is by no means just a tune up fight for Melendez while he waits on a title shot. In fact Nurmagomedov could potentially be one of the toughest tests he’s faced in his 22-3 career.

UFC 170 will take place in las Vegas and is set to be headlined by Daniel Cormier in his light-heavyweight debut against former champion Rashad Evans, while Rory MacDonald Vs Demian Maia has also been confirmed for the event.