Multiple sources tell Us Weekly that the model recently started dating Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
"It's very new," once source told the mag. "They were set up through friends. They just started dating."
Neither of the stars' reps have commented on the relationship rumors, and a close friend of the Sports Illustrated cover girl denied reports ... explaining that the two are just good friends.
The mag adds that Upton and her alleged "Dancing with the Stars" beau dined at Scalinatella in New York for her birthday, and eye witnessessaid the pair shared a very intimate meal ... even holding hands on their way into the restaurant.
Chmerkovskiy was once engaged to fellow "DWTS" pro-dancer, Karina Smirnoff, but the twosome ended their relationship in 2009.
Regardless of the rumors, they would make one good-looking couple.
Do you think Kate and Maksim would make a cute couple? Sound off and check out more surprising celebrity couples in the gallery below!