While rarely if ever billed as such, the UFC often runs unofficial “third place” fights on The Ultimate Fighter’s live finale cards. For season 24, possibly because of the different format from the norm, there’s no such fight scheduled for this coming Saturday’s finale. However, the UFC has in fact booked a fight between the losers of the semi-final bouts…just for the January 28th Fox Network special in Denver, Colorado:
That’s #15 seed/former Caged Aggression MMA Flyweight Champion Eric Shelton, who did the best of the lower-seeded underdog fighters (the other finalists were seeded 1st, 3rd, and 5th), announcing on his Instagram that he’s fighting fellow semifinalist Alexandre Pantoja in Denver. Pantoja came into the show as the #1 seed and the Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion.
With Pantoja officially signed by the UFC, it seems likely that he will be stripped of the RFA title and out of the title unification picture when they merge with Legacy FC shortly. Since interim Legacy champion Matt Schnell has also signed with the UFC, it seems likely that Damacio Page, the other Legacy FC champion, will become the first Legacy Fighting Alliance Flyweight Champion unless he’s also signed by the UFC.