The UFC made some pretty big fight booking announcements late tonight.

First up, the UFC confirmed that a previously announced match-up between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller will actually headline UFC on FOX 3. Additionally, Strikeforce veteran Lavar Johnson, fresh of his recent knockout victory over Joey Beltran in the UFC on FOX 2 prelims, will take on an always exciting and entertaining Pat Barry.

What’s interesting here is the UFC seems to be going with match-ups that are virtually guaranteed to be full of heart-pumping action instead of just filling it with big names that don’t always deliver the most exciting fights like they did with UFC on FOX 2. To be honest, it sounds more like a fight night card than a major network television card, so I think the biggest thing people will question leading up to it are how it will do in the ratings. That said, there’s no way those fights disappoint, which has been the biggest criticism of the first two FOX cards. Regardless of whether it’s the right call or not though, it’s a HUGE opportunity for all four of those guys.

Switching gears to another card, Thiago Silva will make his long-awaited return to action at UFC on FX 3 on May 15 in Virginia following his one-year “fake urine” suspension. And the man he’ll fight… none other than Brandon Vera who he fought when he was caught submitting fake urine for his drug test. Vera has been very vocal about the incident and believed he deserved a fair rematch with the man he’s called a “juice monkey.” Well, he got it. Be careful what you wish for?

Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog