Two veterans of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 will square off during the “TUF 16” finale, promotion officials announced Wednesday, as John Cofer will face Mike Rio in a lightweight duel.
The Dec. 15 showdown takes place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and will likely be featured on the evening’s undercard. Topped by a heavyweight headliner between “TUF 16” coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, the evening’s main card airs live on FX and will also crown the long-running reality show’s latest tournament winner.
Cofer, 28, has not fought since suffering a third-round knockout at the hands of fellow cast mate Justin Lawrence at the “TUF 15” finale on June 1. Prior to his time on the reality show, Cofer had compiled four straight victories, earning wins in seven of his first eight fights after turning pro in 2008.
Rio was prevented from competing at the Season 15 finale due to a rib injury suffered in his exhibition bout with Andy Ogle during the show’s preliminary round. Known as “The Wolverine,” Rio, 31, has finished seven of his eight career victims, with his lone loss coming via decision to UFC veteran Efrain Escudero in July 2011.