Featherweights Dustin Poirier and Jonathan Brookins will lock horns at “The Ultimate Fighter 16” Finale, as will flyweights Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian, promotion officials announced Saturday.
The Dec. 15 event takes place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the evening’s main draw airs live on FX. The show will feature a heavyweight battle of “TUF 16” coaches, as Shane Carwin takes on Roy Nelson. Additionally, the reality series’ welterweight finalists will face off on the main card to determine the next “Ultimate Fighter” winner.
Poirier, 23, recently joined American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., following a May 15 technical submission defeat at the hands of “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak for “The Diamond,” who earned wins over Josh Grispi, Jason Young, Pablo Garza and Max Holloway to begin his UFC career.
Four years older than his upcoming opponent, Brookins has gone just 1-2 since winning “TUF 12” by besting Michael Johnson in December 2010. Most recently, Brookins was finished with a modified guillotine choke courtesy of Charles Oliveira at the “TUF 15” finale on June 1.
Though Elliott acquitted himself quite well in his Octagon debut against current No. 1 contender John Dodson, the Oklahoman would ultimately come up short at UFC on Fox 3, dropping a unanimous decision to “The Magician” on May 5. The setback ended the 25-year-old’s eight-fight winning streak, during which he finished former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and onetime M-1 Global talent Josh Rave.
Papazian, 24, makes his flyweight debut against Elliott. “The Jackhammer” captured the King of the Cage 135-pound title last year before coming up short in his first two Octagon appearances, falling by majority decision to Mike Easton on Jan. 20 before submitting to a Dustin Pague rear-naked choke four months ago at UFC on FX 3.