SPARKS WILL FLY WHEN DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON DEFENDS HIS WORLD TITLE AGAINST AN OPPONENT READY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
(#1) JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ vs. (#2) HENRY CEJUDO
JAKE ELLENBERGER vs. JORGE MASVIDAL
TICKETS FOR THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®: A TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS FINALE
AT THE PEARL AT THE PALMS ON SALE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14
Las Vegas – UFC® returns to The Pearl at The Palms for the first time since 2014 when a living legend goes head-to-head with a challenger looking to capitalize on the opportunity of a lifetime in the main event of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®: A TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS FINALE. Flyweight champion and the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Demetrious Johnson is one of the most dangerous men to ever step foot into the Octagon® and he looks to extend his title defense streak to nine when he meets one of 16 men competing in The Ultimate Fighter® Season 24 on Saturday, December 3 in Las Vegas. The event airs live on FS1.
In a season unlike any other, all 16 competitors on TUF 24 are champions in their current promotion and have come from South Africa, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United States. These athletes came to Las Vegas with visions of a UFC title on their mind and were seeded in a bracket style tournament with more than a UFC contract on the line. The winner hopes to become just the second athlete in the show’s history to win a world title at the finale, following in the footsteps of Carla Esparza at The Ultimate Fighter season 20 finale. Brandon Moreno, the tournament’s No. 16 seed, proved how strong the competition is by taking a short notice fight against the No. 9 ranked flyweight in the world, Louis Smolka, and submitting him in the first round on October 1 in Portland, Ore. Now, one of Moreno’s castmates will look to pull off an upset of his own when he collides with flyweight kingpin, Johnson.
Undoubtedly the greatest flyweight in UFC history, Johnson (24-2-1, fighting out of Parkland, Wash.) looks to strengthen his case as one of the greatest fighters of all-time. With eight successful title defenses already under his belt, the first and only flyweight champion in UFC history looks to defend his crown and extend his 11-fight unbeaten streak when he take on the winner of this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
In addition, a high stakes matchup with title implications will serve as the night’s co-main event, as top-ranked Joseph Benavidez (24-4, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) looks to extend his win streak to six in a pivotal flyweight matchup with No. 2 Henry Cejudo (10-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.), who looks for another quick victory and the fifth first-round knockout of his MMA career. While both men, who served as this season’s coaches, have had a shot at Johnson, a win here will likely cement their place as the top contender and earn them another crack at 125-pound gold.
· Veteran welterweights Jake Ellenberger (31-11, fighting out of Lake Forest, Calif.) and Jorge Masvidal (30-11, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) look for a big win in Las Vegas
· Las Vegas’ own Gray Maynard (13-6-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) meets The Ultimate Fighter season 22 winner Ryan Hall (5-1, fighting out of Falls Church, Va.) in a featherweight bout
· Dynamic finisher Elvis Mutapcic (15-4-1, fighting out of Des Moines, Iowa) clashes with knockout artist Anthony Smith (25-12, fighting out of Omaha, Neb.) in a 185-pound showdown
· Submission ace Josh Stansbury (8-3, fighting out of East Liverpool, Ohio) makes his second Octagon appearance against the always dangerous middleweight Jake Collier (10-3, fighting out of Cuba, Mo.)
· A battle between strawweight up-and-comers Kailin Curran (4-3, fighting out of Ewa Beach, Hawaii) and Jamie Moyle (3-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)