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UFC announces co-headlining bouts for TUF 12 Finale

A pair of TUF finalists – one of whom walked away a seasonal champ – will serve as individual components of two headlining bouts at Ultimate Fighter Season 12 Finale scheduled for December 4th in Las Vegas. The UFC officially announced the co-main events earlier today in a press release to media.

In one half of the action, the man who stood toe-to-toe with Forrest Griffin at the inaugural TUF finale, Stephan Bonnar, will face Igor Pokrajac in hopes of building on the momentum of his TKO victory over Krzysztof Soszynski last July at UFC 116. The showing netted Bonnar a “Fight of the Night” distinction and broke a three-fight skid the likeable light heavyweight had been on since early 2009.

Pokrajac was also victorious in his last Octagon appearance. The 22-7 Croatian submitted James Irvin this past August at “UFC on Versus 2”. Nineteen of his twenty-two career wins have come by way of a finishing performance.

Also tagged for headlining work at the conclusion to the current season of the Ultimate Fighter, TUF 3 champ Kendall Grove will put his BJJ to the test against highly respected submission artist Demian Maia. The lanky middleweight is coming off a split-decision win over Goran Reljic at UFC 116, while Maia most recently outpointed Mario Miranda a little over a month ago at UFC 118 in Boston.

  • Dufresne says:

    Bonnar v Pokrajac I’m excited for. Grove v Maia… not so much.

  • SamMMAFanBronx says:

    What is a Pokrajac? I have no idea who that is?

    Demain Maia, I know and Kendall Grove I know. I am more interested in that matchup.

    I really feel like Kendall is going to take this fight, Maia has not been impressive since he submitted Chael Sonnen over a year ago. His fights since then have been lackluster, but I know he has the ability to submit anyone he gets his hands on and I can tell he is working on the other aspects of his game.

  • Guthookd says:

    “What is a Pokrajac? I have no idea who that is?”
    -SamMMAFanBronx says

    Igor Pokrajac (born January 2, 1979) is a Croatian mixed martial artist currently fighting at Light Heavyweight. One of Cro-Cop’s partners if I’m not mistaken.

  • Rece Rock says:

    No complaints here cause it’s fo’ freeeeee

  • Dufresne says:

    Oh, I’m not complaining, I’m just saying I have a hard time getting excited for Grove or Maia fight these days.

    I’m wondering when Maia is going to get back to that lethal submission game of his. Ever since Marquardt punched him in the mouth, he’s looked a bit tentative. Granted he’s only fought 3 times since then and one was A. Silva doing his dancing routine and his last opponent was also a skilled ground fighter, but I’m just hoping for the guy that started out 5-0 in the UFC with 5 finishes.

    The main reason Bonnar/Pokrajac is more interesting to me is because we know how both Bonnar and Pokrajac are gonna fight. They’re gonna stand in front of each other and punch each other about the head and neck until: A) They run out of time to hit each other; B) The Octagon doc decides one is bleeding too much and can’t see well enough to keep punching the other one in the face; or C) One of them goes to sleep courtesy of blunt force trauma.

    Grove on the other hand is a complete enigma to me. One fight he’ll show up and just decimate an opponent. Next fight he shows up and it’s like he’s forgotten that he’s 6’6 and has a ridiculous reach for a welterweight. Hell, it’s not just fight to fight, sometimes it’s round to round. He was beating Muñoz like he stole something in round 1, but in round two it’s like his corner told him “Let the wrestler with nasty GnP get in close and maul you, it won’t hurt.”

    Jab, Kendall. Jab.

  • Both of these could be good. The way Bonnar came after Kryzstof shows he knows that he cant play around anymore, he’s gotta win or become a runnin joke(Dana’s said he wont let him go so he can meander around and fight forever.)
    Now Grove and Maia I like alot and here’s why, Kendall has good BJJ and that long frame from which to try weird chokes and whatnot, Maia has finally learned how to strike…it could be a nice technical battle that could either show us one of the best sub/GnP finishes ever…or a hugfest.

  • BigDave says:

    I am liking these fights. if Grove and Maia are both at the top of there game it should make for a very interesting technical fight with plenty of sub attempts and escapes till one guy makes a mistake and gets caught.

    Bonnar has got the heart and the determination to take a beating and give one aswell, although I don’t know much about his opponent from what i have read it seem like this fight is just gonna be rock’em sock’em robots till the end.


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