Leonard Garcia (left): Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Former WEC title contender Leonard Garcia will meet Tyler Toner in a preliminary featherweight matchup at “The Ultimate Fighter 12” Finale on Dec. 4 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Seven fights are now official for the event, which will air live on Spike TV.
Garcia has not competed since WEC 51 in September, when he lost a split decision to Mark Hominick at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo. Based at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts, the 31-year-old Plainview, Texas, native owns notable victories against 2009 Dream featherweight grand prix finalist Hiroyuki Takaya, former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and Korean Top Team representative Chan Sung Jung. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Garcia has only been finished once -- by one-time WEC featherweight king Mike Thomas Brown -- in 21 professional appearances.
Anchored at the Grudge Training Center in Colorado, Toner last appeared at WEC 51 two months ago, losing a unanimous decision to Diego Nunes. The former Ring of Fire featherweight champion has secured nine of his 11 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Toner will enter his Octagon debut having won three of his last four fights.
Meanwhile, reigning Ring of Combat bantamweight champion Nick Pace will lock horns with Will Campuzano in a preliminary matchup at 135 pounds.
Spawned by the Team Tiger Schulmann camp, Pace suffered his first career defeat in a unanimous decision to Demetrious Johnson at WEC 51 in September. The 23-year-old has three first-round finishes on his resume, including a flying knee knockout against Collin Tebo under the Bellator Fighting Championships banner in June 2009. Pace opened his professional career with five consecutive victories.
The Mexican-born Campuzano, 24, tallied a 1-2 mark in the WEC. Spawned by the Mohler MMA camp, he last competed at a King of Kombat event in August, when he defeated Steve Garcia by split decision at the Palmer Event Center in Austin, Texas. Campuzano counts wins over Jackson’s MMA representative Coty Wheeler and Bellator veteran Bryan Goldsby among his eight career conquests.
Finally, former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Fredson Paixao will square off with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum Pablo Garza in a preliminary featherweight duel.
Paixao will carry a two-fight winning streak into the bout. The 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has not competed since WEC 50 in August, when he notched a split decision against Bryan Caraway at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Paixao, who has never been finished, has posted five of his 10 career wins by submission. He holds noteworthy victories over 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships winner Rani Yahya and former two-division Deep champion Masakazu Imanari.
Eliminated during the qualifying round on Season 12 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, the 6-foot-1 Garza, nicknamed “The Scarecrow,” has scored six of his nine wins by submission. The 26-year-old trains out of the Academy of Combat Arts in Fargo, N.D. Garza tasted defeat for the first time as a short-notice replacement for UFC veteran Jason Reinhardt, succumbing to a first-round guillotine choke from Chinese import Tie Quan Zhang at WEC 51 in September.
“The Ultimate Fighter 12” Finale
Saturday, Dec. 4
Palms Casino Resort
Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Demian Maia vs. Kendall Grove
Johny Hendricks vs. Rick Story
Leonard Garcia vs. Tyler Toner
Nick Pace vs. Will Campuzano
Fredson Paixao vs. Pablo Garza
Rich Attonito vs. Dave Branch