10-04-2010, 02:05 PM
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| | The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale set with Grove vs. Maia, Bonnar vs. Pokrajac
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale set with Grove vs. Maia, Bonnar vs. Pokrajac | MMAjunkie.com
As expected two former cast members will be featured in December during The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. |
The event takes place Dec. 4 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and a lightweight fighter will be named the "TUF 12" champion.
Also part of the Spike TV card are "TUF 3" champ Kendall Grove (12-7 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. former middleweight title challenger Demian Maia (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and "TUF 1" runner-up Stephan Bonnar (12-7 MMA, 6-6 UFC) vs. fellow light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac (22-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) reported the two bouts in September, and UFC and Spike TV officials today formally announced the main-card bouts.
The booking is good news for Grove, who – as MMAjunkie.com first reported – lost his spot on a UFC 116 "UFC Prelims" special because of critical comments he made about Spike TV and the UFC's long-running reality series.
Despite the demotion to the unaired preliminary card, Grove nevertheless earned a hard-fought split-decision win over a tough Goran Reljic. The victory helped him avoid back-to-back losses and marked his fourth win in his past six fights. Now with the fences apparently mended, he returns to a high-profile fight.
He also now could find himself back in prime title contention with a victory over Maia, who recently rebounded from a title loss to champ Anderson Silva with a unanimous-decision win over fellow submission ace Mario Miranda. Aside from an earlier defeat to fellow contender Nate Marquardt, Maia remains undefeated in professional competition, which includes UFC victories over the likes of Dan Miller, Chael Sonnen and Nate Quarry.
Bonnar, meanwhile, returns to the cage on the strength of a much-needed win over Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 116. The "Fight of the Night" effort, which was actually a rematch from UFC 110, saw a gritty Bonnar at his finest, and the positive result snapped a three-fight losing streak in which he suffered losses to Jon Jones, Mark Coleman and Soszynski (in a controversial TKO stoppge).
Pokrajac also recently delivered in a must-win situation by submitting James Irvin at August's UFC on Versus 2 event. The Croatian was granted a rare third shot at a first UFC win after losing to James Te Huna and Vladimir Matyushenko in his first two octagon appearances.
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