Joe Lauzon will return to the Octagon on Dec. 11. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
"The Ultimate Fighter 22" finale finale will take place in Las Vegas one day before the highly anticipated featherweight title showdown between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.
The UFC confirmed the event Wednesday night following an initial report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A pair of fights for the Dec. 11 card were also announced, as Joe Lauzon will meet Evan Dunham at lightweight, while Mike Pierce takes on Ryan LaFlare at welterweight. A venue was not revealed.
Meanwhile, UFC 194 will go down on Dec. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and will feature the highly-anticipated grudge match between Aldo and McGregor. The order of events marks a change from this summer, when the promotion held the “TUF 21” finale on July 12, one day after UFC 189 --– arguably the most heavily-hyped event of the year.
Lauzon is coming off a first-round stoppage of Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fox 16; he lost to Al Iaquinta via TKO in his first appearance of 2015. Dunham, meanwhile, enters the bout on a two-fight winning streak, with triumphs over Rodrigo Damm and Ross Pearson in consecutive outings.
Pierce will be making his first appearance since October 2013, when Rousimar Palhares failed to release a heel hook in a timely manner after submitting the Oregon native at UFC Fight Night “Maia vs. Shields.” LaFlare suffered his first loss in 12 pro bouts on March 21, as he dropped a five-round verdict to Demian Maia.