For the first time since 2009, Frankie Edgar is back to climbing the ladder.
Fresh off his third consecutive loss in a title bout, the former UFC lightweight champion is slated to fight Charles Oliveira at UFC 162, promotion officials announced on Thursday.
UFC 162 takes place July 6, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva looks to defend his belt against the undefeated Chris Weidman at the Fourth of July weekend event, which also features a potential No. 1 contender bout between featherweights Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas.
Despite having won just one of his last five fights, Edgar (15-4-1), remains one of the toughest outs in the sport. The 31-year-old handled Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk and Matt Veach on his road to the title, then went on to upset B.J. Penn twice, fight to a classic draw with Gray Maynard, then finish Maynard via fourth-round knockout in the ensuing rubber match.
However two polarizing decision losses to Benson Henderson -- the first, unanimous, the second, split -- led the undersized Edgar to drop down to featherweight, where he challenged longtime UFC champion Jose Aldo, losing yet another close decision.
Oliveira (16-3, 1 NC), meanwhile, hopes to right his ship after missing weight and suffering a subsequent brutal knockout loss to Cub Swanson at UFC 152. Prior to the setback, the 23-year-old Brazilian racked up a two-fight win streak, submitting Eric Wisely with a gruesome reverse calf slicer before repeating the favor to Jonathan Brookins via anaconda choke.
Also featured on the card is a match-up between top featherweight contenders Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver.
Swanson (19-5) rides a four-fight win streak into the bout, having knocked out George Roop, Ross Pearson and Oliveira in succession before defeating Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision.
Siver (21-8), likewise, has rolled off consecutive wins since dropping down to featherweight, edging Diego Nunes and brutalizing Nam Phan.