The fight will be the first at 185 pounds for Cantwell (7-4), who is best known for being the WEC's final light heavyweight champion. However, the 24-year-old has struggled since winning the belt, running a 1-3 record within the UFC that includes three straight decision losses to Luiz Cane, Brian Stann, and Cyrille Diabate.
He will look to curb his fortune against Mike Massenzio (12-5), who is also in the midst of a three-fight losing streak within the UFC. He last fought against Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 131, filling in on three days notice for the injured Igor Pokrajac. The bout marked Massenzio's light heavyweight debut, which he dropped via unanimous decision.
With one combined win since 2009, the pair's newly scheduled bout carries vast implications for both UFC veterans, as very few fighters are retained after suffering four straight losses. The matchup is expected to be slotted onto UFC 136's undercard.
UFC 136 is headlined by two high-profile title fights. Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will defend his belt in a rubber match against Gray Maynard, and popular featherweight newcomer Kenny Florian will look to dethrone the division's pound-for-pound king, Jose Aldo.
Also on the card is a featured middleweight bout between Brian Stann and Chael Sonnen that could decide the next challenger to Anderson Silva's middleweight title. The event will be held October 8th, 2011 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Updated UFC 136 fight card:
Lightweight Championship: Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard
Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian
Middleweight: Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann
Middleweight: Demian Maia vs. Jorge Santiago
Lightweight: Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon
Lightweight: Anthony Pettis vs. Jeremy Stephens
Heavyweight: Joey Beltran vs. Stipe Miocic
Heavyweight: Dave Herman vs. Mike Russow
Middleweight: Nick Catone vs. Aaron Simpson
Featherweight: Josh Grispi vs. Matt Grice
Middleweight: Steve Cantwell vs. Mike Massenzio