With international The Ultimate Fighter seasons well underway, three of four matches announced today will be held at TUF Finale shows.
Canada vs. Australia Finale: Michael Bisping (24-5) has received medical clearance to headline the event with Tim Kennedy (17-4), slated for April 16 in Quebec City.
Out of action since last April, Bisping was expected to face Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 before suffering an eye injury that required surgery. Kennedy has taken jabs at Bisping over the last few month in the hope that Dana White would approve the fight, going as far as to visit the UFC president a few weeks ago.
A lightweight bout between Mark Bocek (11-5) and Evan Dunham (14-5) has also been added.
Having lost two of his last three matches, Dunham is in a must-win situation. His last match ended when Donald Cerrone hooked a triangle choke in the second round of their UFC 167 match. Bocek’s biggest obstacle may be ring rust as he hasn’t stepped in an Octagon since 2012. The Canadian was expected to appear at UFC 165 before an injury forced him out.
TUF China Finale:
English bantamweight Vaughan Lee (13-9) takes on TUF 12 cast member Nam Phan (18-12) at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China on March 1.
Lee is 2-3 in five UFC fights and need a solid performance to save face. His last match ended by armbar when Raphael Assuncao submitted him at UFC on FuelTV 10. Phan is in just as much trouble having lost four of his six UFC fights. After returning from a year-long layoff, Phan lost his initial bout to Takeya Mizugaki by unanimous decision last month.
UFC heavyweights Roy Nelson (19-9) and Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira (34-8-1) will headline April’s unnamed event. It will be the UFC’s first trip to the Middle East since 2010.
‘Big Country’ is coming off back-to-back losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, respectively. This was precluded by a three-match winning streak that earned Nelson two Knockout of the Night honors.
Nogueira is coming off of an armbar submission loss to Fabricio Werdum last summer. Injuries have limited the Brazilian to one match per year since 2012.
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