(Another otherwise-lovely photo ruined by red-eye. Props to JunieBrowning.com.)
TUF 8‘s man-you-love-to-hate is close to finalizing his next Octagon appearance. Junie Browning and TUF 5 castmember Cole Miller have reportedly agreed to face each other at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville). Still a perfect 3-0 as a professional, Browning most recently submitted Dave Kaplan via armbar at last month’s TUF 8 finale, and has been trying to get his game tightened up at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Miller (14-3) is an American Top Team member who last fought at UFC 86 in July, where he choked out Jorge Gurgel. Sounds like a solid step up in competition for "The Lunatik" — will he rise to the challenge?
In other fight-bookin’ news…
— UFC Fight Night 18 will also host a middleweight bout between Ricardo Almeida and Matt Horwich, who are both coming off losses. Almeida dropped a split decision to Patrick Cote at UFC 86, while former IFL champion Horwich lost a decision to Dan Miller in his Octagon debut at UFC 90. As accomplished and talented as both fighters are, the loser might find himself without a contract.
— Junie Browning’s Team Mir drinking buddy Shane Nelson, who clawed out a split decision victory over George Roop at the TUF 8 finale, is being brought back to take on Aaron Riley at UFC 96 (March 7th, Columbus). Just like Cole Miller, Riley’s last appearance was also a win over Jorge Gurgel, at UFC 91 in November. Poor Jorge Gurgel.