Two of The Ultimate Fighter’s most celebrated alumni, Stephan Bonnar and Kendall Grove, will be featured in separate co-featured fights in the live finale of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck on Saturday, December 4 at 9:00pm ET/PT. Emanating from The Pearl at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Bonnar (Season 1) takes on Croatian contender Igor Pokrajac while Grove (Season 3) battles one of the top middleweights in the division, Demian Maia.
Bonnar (15-7) is no stranger to The Ultimate Fighter finale. The “American Psycho” fought Forrest Griffin in the first The Ultimate Fighter finale in April 2005 in one of the most memorable bouts in UFC history. The veteran light heavyweight is coming off of a 2nd round TKO victory over Canadian slugger Krzysztof Sosznyski at UFC 116 in July where he earned “Fight of the Night” honors.
Igor Pokrajac (22-7), fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia, was a longtime training partner for UFC star Mirko Cro Cop, but is rapidly making a name for himself in the UFC. Pokrajac is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a first round submission of James Irvin this past August, but the veteran light heavyweight needs a victory over Bonnar in front of a national television audience to establish himself as a viable contender in the division.
Brazilian mixed martial arts star, Demian Maia (13-2) returns to the Octagon on a quest for another shot at the UFC middleweight crown as he takes on Kendall Grove. Maia recently defeated Mario Miranda at UFC 118 in August. Prior to that, filling in for the injured Vitor Belfort, Maia went the distance in a decision loss to UFC champ Anderson Silva in the UFC’s first fight in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates at UFC 112. Maia, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Sao Paolo, won his first five fights in the UFC, each one via submission against such notables as Chael Sonnen, Jason McDonald, and Nate Quarry. Maia also rebounded from a tough knockout loss to Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 last August with an impressive decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 109 in February.
The Ultimate Fighter 3 victor Kendall Grove (14-7, 1 NC) is coming off of one of the most important victories of his career, a split decision win over Goran Reljic at UFC 116 in July that reignited his hopes for an eventual shot at the middleweight crown. And after the recent win over Reljic, “Da Spyder” looks to use his impressive Muay Thai skills to defeat Maia.
More fights will be announced at a later date.