Raphael Assuncao's road to the UFC bantamweight title now goes through Matthew Lopez.
The perennial contender is set to square off with the surging Lopez at UFC Fight Night 120 on Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.
The 35-year-old Assuncao has won two straight and all but one of 10 UFC bouts at 135 pounds. He last bested former WSOF champ Marlon Moraes by split decision at UFC 212, a win he'd hoped would cement him as the next challenger to the strap currently owned by Cody Garbrandt. The fourth-ranked contender will instead meet a tantalizing talent in Lopez - also a winner of two straight.
After falling to Rani Yahya in his promotional debut, Lopez rebounded with a decision victory over Mitch Gagnon at UFC 206, and then mauled Johnny Eduardo by first-round TKO moments before Assuncao edged Moraes in June. He currently sits 10 spots below Assuncao in the divisional rankings.
Also gracing the card is a lightweight tilt between Sage Northcutt and Michel Quinones, both of whom will look to bounce back from second-round stoppage losses to Mickey Gall and Jared Gordon, respectively. Northcutt was submitted by Gall in a welterweight bout at UFC on FOX 22 in December, while Quinones suffered a TKO at UFC Fight Night 112 in June.
The November event will be headlined by a clash of lightweight contenders Anthony Pettis and Dustin Poirier.