Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier (12-2) faces Jonathan Brookins (13-5) in a featherweight bout while Jared ‘The Jackhammer’ Papazian (14-8, 1NC) and Tim Elliot (8-3-1) both look for their first Octagon win against each other in a flyweight matchup.
The official announcement was made at UFC.com on Saturday (Dec. 20, 2012) night.
Featherweight contender Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier returns to the Octagon for the first time since his May Fight of the Year candidate against Chan Sung Jung when he takes on The Ultimate Fighter 12 winner Jonathan Brookins at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on December 15.
Also verbally agreed to for the TUF 16 Finale card, which is headlined by the bout between Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, is a flyweight battle between up and comers Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian.
The TUF 16 Finale is expected to take place on December 15, 2012 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event features a heavyweight bout between opposing coaches Shane Carwin vs. Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson as well as the “TUF” 16 finals.
The high-flying Poirier was derailed in his last fight by ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung, after the two squared off in a memorable “Fight of the Night” matchup in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 2. Jung would submit Poirier in the fourth round with a D’arce choke. The loss ended a five fight win streak for Poirier who earned his last win against Max Holloway at UFC 143.
Brookins also looks to improve his 1-2 record following a loss to Charles Oliveira at the TUF 15 Finale, after his opponent sunk in an anaconda choke to force the tap in the second round. Previous to that, Brookins was able to knockout replacement fighter Vagner Rocha in the first round of their UFC on FUEL TV 1 match. The other defeat for the TUF winner came just over a year ago at UFN 25, with a decision loss to Erik Koch.
Papazian is still looking for his first Octagon victory after two appearances. ‘The Jackhammer’ was submitted in his last fight, tapping to Dustin Pague after a rear-naked choke submission at UFC on FX 3 this past June. Papazian debuted in the UFC in January, replacing an injured Ken Stone in a match versus Mike Easton at UFC on FX 1. Papazian would lose via majority decision.
Elliot has yet to win inside the Octagon, having lost a decision to John Dodson via decision at UFC on FOX 3 in May. Elliot stepped in as a replacement for Darren Uyenoyama who was forced out with an injury. The loss ended an eight fight win streak for Elliot who earned three of those victories via (T)KO, four by submission and one by decision.