Kendall Grove (right) file photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Kendall Grove will meet once-beaten Croatian Goran Reljic in a middleweight matchup at UFC 116 “Lesnar vs. Carwin” on July 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC on Monday finalized an 11-bout lineup for the event.
Grove has lost two of his last three fights and posted a pedestrian 6-4 mark inside the UFC. The 27-year-old Hawaiian last appeared at UFC 112 in April, when he succumbed to second-round punches from Mark Munoz. Five of the former Total Combat middleweight champion’s defeats have come by knockout or technical knockout. Wins against Team Quest’s Ed Herman, surging middleweight contender Alan Belcher and the late Evan Tanner dot Grove’s resume.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt under 10-time BJJ world champion Roger Gracie, Reljic has delivered more than half (five) of his eight career victories by submission. Plagued by a back injury since debuting in the Octagon with a second-round technical knockout against Wilson Gouveia in 2008, the 26-year-old dropped a unanimous decision to C.B. Dollaway at UFC 110 in February. It was his first appearance in nearly two years.
UFC 116 will be headlined by a blockbuster heavyweight title unification match between returning champion Brock Lesnar and undefeated interim titleholder Shane Carwin, along with a middleweight duel pairing Brazilian icon Wanderlei Silva with the world-ranked Yoshihiro Akiyama.
UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin
Saturday, July 3
MGM Grand Garden Arena
UFC Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino
Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic
Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
Ricardo Romero vs. Seth Petruzelli
Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola