Strikeforce veteran K.J. Noons (11-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet George Sotiropoulos (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on the card in Texas, and each fighter will be hoping to snap a three-fight losing skid. UFC officials on Wednesday confirmed the bout, which was first reported by Australian news outlet The Age.
Noons made his UFC debut in May and dropped a unanimous decision to Donald Cerrone at UFC 160. Prior to that, he had four losses in his final four fights for Strikeforce, including a controversial split-decision setback to Ryan Couture in the promotion's finale in January. With five losses in his past six fights, a win appears to be critical for the Hawaii native. It should be noted, though, that those losses included a welterweight title fight to Nick Diaz and a pair of lightweight title eliminators.
After a 7-0 start to his UFC career, including five straight wins after dropping to lightweight from welterweight, Sotiropoulos has dropped three straight. After two "Fight of the Night" wins in three bouts, the Australian was outpointed by Dennis Siver, then knocked out in 59 seconds by Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 132. After coaching opposite Ross Pearson on the Australia vs. U.K. edition of "The Ultimate Fighter," Pearson stopped "Sots" with a third-round TKO in December.
With the latest addition to the card, UFC 166 now includes:
Champ Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos - for heavyweight title
Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shawn Jordan
Hector Lombard vs. Nate Marquardt
Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez
Tim Boetsch vs. Luke Rockhold
K.J. Noons vs. George Sotiropoulos
Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio