A pair of featherweight bouts have been added to the TUF 17 Finale card in April.
Cole Miller (18-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) will face Bart Palaszewski (36-16 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Daniel Pineda (17-9 MMA, 2-2 UFC) takes on Justin Lawrence (4-1 MMA 1-1 UFC). The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday reported the bouts, and UFC officials confirmed their inclusion on the card toMMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com).
The TUF 17 Finale takes place April 13 in Las Vegas. The main card airs on FX, while FUEL TV and Facebook will carry prelims.
Miller, a product of Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” is in need of a win after dropping back-to-back fights and three of his past four. The American Top Team product returned to featherweight in 2012, but dropped a unanimous decision to Steven Siler at UFC on FX 2 in Australia. He followed that up with a split decision loss to Nam Phan at UFC on FOX 4 this past August. His most recent win came in August 2011, when he choked out T.J. O’Brien in Milwaukee.
Palaszewski is looking to break out of a two-fight skid of his own. In 2012, he dropped unanimous decisions to Hatsu Hioki at UFC 144 and Diego Nunes at UFC on FX 5. Prior to the back-to-back losses, he had won five out of six, including a “Knockout of the Night” win in his UFC debut against Tyson Griffin at UFC 137.
Pineda also owns a two-fight losing streak. After a fight-fight run of stoppages for Legacy Fighting Championhip, Pineda signed with the UFC and won back-to-back fights with first-round submissions of Pat Schilling and Mackens Semerzier just 43 days apart. But against Mike Brown this past May, he dropped a unanimous decision at UFC 146. He followed that up two months later with a knockout loss to Antonio Carvalho at UFC 149. But after four UFC fights in the first seven months of 2012, Pineda has been on the sideline since the loss to Carvalho.
Lawrence was one of the favorites to win “The Ultimate Fighter Live” and was the first overall pick after winning his way into the house. But he was upset by eventual winner Michael Chiesa in the quarterfinals. He went on to get a spot on the live finale, though, and picked up a rare double bonus with the “Knockout of the Night” against John Cofer as well as “Fight of the Night.” This past August, though, he was stopped by Max Holloway at UFC 150 with a second-round TKO for the first loss of his pro career.
With the two featherweight bouts, the TUF 17 Finale card now includes:
- Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga – for flyweight title
- Finalist No. 1 vs. Finalist No. 2 – “TUF 17″ welterweight final
- Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
- Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano
- Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski
- Justin Lawrence vs. Daniel Pineda