Ferguson, Nijem Meet at ‘TUF 13’ Finale


Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos won’t meet inside the Octagon this month, but the big men will get to do battle by proxy this weekend.

Welterweights Tony Ferguson of Team Lesnar and Ramsey Nijem (Pictured) of Team Dos Santos will square off this Saturday, June 4, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for the 13th-season finale of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

The matchup was revealed Wednesday during the season’s penultimate episode, which saw Nijem knock out the Lesnar-trained Chris Cope, and Ferguson batter teammate Chuck O’Neil to a third-round stoppage.

Ferguson-Nijem will be part of Saturday’s Spike TV-broadcast main card, which is topped by a highly anticipated 155-pound duel between incoming WEC champion Anthony Pettis and UFC lightweight stalwart Clay Guida.

Nijem, 23, was the season’s most talked-about cast member, largely due to his impressive submission finishes in each of the first two tournament rounds, but thanks also to the antics of his alter ego, “Stripper Ramsey.” Prior to entering the “TUF” house, the native Californian compiled a professional record of 4-1 while competing in Utah, where he wrestled in college and currently trains alongside “TUF 11” winner Court McGee.

The more experienced Ferguson holds a mark of 10-2, including six wins via knockout and three by way of submission. Like Njiem, “El Cucuy” scored a pair of strong stoppages in the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds, knocking out Team Dos Santos fighters Justin Edwards and Ryan McGillivray. Ferguson has won three straight and six of his last seven pro outings, most recently handing Nijem training partner Brock Jardine his first defeat in a September bout.

As with each season of the long-running reality show, the finale’s undercard will include several bouts featuring previously eliminated contestants. MMAJunkie.com reported Wednesday that semifinalists Cope and O’Neil will meet in a televised bout, while Clay Harvison versus Justin Edwards and Shamar Bailey versus Ryan McGillivray will be part of the non-televised preliminary card.

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