Earlier today, UFC officials announced that TUF winners Kelvin Gastelum (season 17) and Court McGee (season 11) have been booked to face one another at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson. Featuring a pair of guaranteed barnburners in Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown and Ian McCall vs. Scott Jorgensen, as well as Joe Lauzon vs. Mac Danzig and Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz, UFC on FOX 9 transpires at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on December 14th.
The matchup is the latest in the long history of TUF winners fighting one another — the inaugural fight being Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping‘s headlining scrap at UFC 78: Validation. Did you forget about that fight? Because you are not alone, brother. Another fun fact: Of the 8 fights to take place between The Ultimate Fighter winners, just three of those fights have ended inside the distance (Danzig KO’d Joe Stevenson at UFC 124, Evans KO’d Griffin at UFC 92 and Robert Whittaker TKO’d Colton Smith at UFC 160).
What does this all mean? That McGee vs. Gastelum will likely go the distance. Unless Gastelum comes out like he did against Brian Melancon, in which case McGee is a dead man. Again.
Also recently booked for UFC on FOX 9…
Edson Barboza, the man who secretly underwent a procedure to have his original legs replaced by metal ones back in 2006 (it was a risky operation, but totally worth it), will face Danny Castillo in a classic striker vs. grappler match up. Since seeing his unblemished record tarnished by Jamie Varner at UFC 146, Barboza has scored back-to-back stoppage victories over Lucas Martins (submission due to strikes*) and Rafaello Oliveira (leg kicks of Death).
Castillo is also riding a two-fight win streak at the moment, having collected a pair of upset decision victories over Paul Sass and Tim Means at UFC on FUEL 7 and UFC on FOX 8, respectively. Methinks Castillo’s strategy of holding a motherfucker down and pitter-pattering the piss out of him will once again be on full display here. Unless Barboza can stop the takedown, in which case Castillo is a dead man.
*For some reason, Sherdog currently lists Barboza’s win over Martins as coming via TKO (retirement). You can watch a video of the fight here, but Martins clearly taps to strikes, in any case.