Evan Dunham to fight Edson Barboza

Two years ago, Evan Dunham appeared to be closing in on a lightweight title shot. Then he lost two fights in a row.

Dunham has since won his two most recent fights, but there is yet to be any talk of him regaining contender status. That could change May 26 if he can register a victory over fast-rising Edson Barboza at UFC 146.

UFC president Dana White announced the bout on Monday.

"For the UFC (146) May (26) card in Vegas, we just signed Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham!!" White said on Twitter.

Barboza (10-0) raised eyebrows Jan. 14 when he earned both Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night honors at UFC 142 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a third-round stoppage of Terry Etim.

He finished Etim with a spinning wheel kick.

Exactly two weeks later, Dunham would pick up Fight of the Night honors with a second-round TKO of Nik Lentz in Chicago.

Dunham has a professional record of 13-2.

Earlier this month, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta announced that the promotion was working toward topping the UFC 146 card with a heavyweight title fight between champion Junior dos Santos and No. 1 contender Alistair Overeem.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.