Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda Likely for UFC 144

After coming off a car accident back in June, middleweight Riki Fukuda (17-5) looks to make his return to the Octagon against former WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell (7-5) at UFC 144.

UFC 144 takes place Feb. 25, 2012, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The main event features a bout between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson for the UFC lightweight title.

Sources close to the situation have informed that verbal agreements are in place for Fukuda and Cantwell.

For Fukuda, he will make his return to the Octagon in his own home country of Japan after nearly a yearlong layoff due to injuring his knee in a car accident. Earlier this year, Fukuda made his Octagon debut at UFC 127, losing a controversial decision to TUF 11 alumni Nick Ring.

Cantwell may very well be in a do-or-die situation after losing four fights in a row. The former WEC light heavyweight champion recently made drop down to the middleweight, but lost a unanimous decision to Mike Massenzio.