A lightweight contest between veterans James Krause and Jamie Varner is being targeted for UFC 173 on May 24.

The MMA Corner has learned that although no contracts have been signed, verbal agreements are in place for the bout.

Krause will enter the Octagon for the first time in 2014 and will look to bounce back from a controversial TKO loss to Bobby Green at UFC Fight Night 31 in November. Green landed multiple illegal groin strikes in the fight’s opening minutes and it appeared as if he had landed another, but referee John McCarthy waived off the contest. The loss snapped an eight-fight winning streak for the Kansas City- based Krause. The fighter picked up a submission win over Sam Stout in his promotional debut last summer and the Grindhouse MMA product has finished 18 of his 20 career wins.

Meanwhile, Varner will also look to get back in the win column after suffering a knockout loss at UFC 169 to Abel Trujillo. The thrilling bout earned Varner a “Fight of the Night” bonus, but also marked the first time he has been stopped by strikes in 30 career bouts. The former WEC lightweight champion has now lost three of his last four bouts inside the Octagon, but the Arizona Combat Sports fighter also earned a bonus for his war with Joe Lauzon in late 2012.

UFC 173 will take place on Saturday, May 24 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event is expected to be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Chris Weidman and former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. More bouts are expected to revealed in the near future.

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