While it probably wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the UFC opted to put Urijah Faber in a bantamweight title fight against Dominick Cruz in his Octagon debut, it doesn’t look like that’s the direction they’re going. Instead, MMA Fighting is reporting that Faber will meet Eddie Wineland at UFC 128 in March.

MMA Fighting has learned from sources close to the situation that the UFC is targeting a bout between Wineland and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber at UFC 128 on March 19 in Newark, N.J. Though contracts have not yet been signed, verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which would likely hold a prime spot on the event’s pay-per-view card.

No offense to Wineland, but he’s not the type of high-profile opponent I expected for Faber in his UFC debut. Wineland is a tough kid, but someone most would expect Faber to beat. Perhaps the UFC thinks it’s better to introduce Faber to the UFC audience in a fight he has a good chance of winning before thrusting him into a major title fight.

Image via Sherdog