UFC newcomer Lucio Linhares (13-4) will replace the injured Alessio Sakara and make his Octagon debut against Rousimar Palhares (9-2) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 5, according to our friends at BrasilCombate.com.br.
Linhares has torn up the M-1 Global circuit for the past 18 months, amassing a solid record (5-2) in seven appearances. "Spartan" is currently enjoying a five-fight win streak, which includes first round stoppages over notables such as Karl Amoussou and UFC veteran Sean Salmon.
The Brazilian most recently submitted Mikhail Zayats via rear naked choke at M-1: "Breakthrough" last month. He boasts a nice mix of (technical) knockouts and submissions in 17 professional fights, which may serve him well against the highly-touted Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission specialist.
Palhares hasn’t seen action since a unanimous decision win over mixed martial arts journeyman Jeremy Horn at UFC 93 earlier this year. Prior to the win, "Toquinho," which means "tree stump" in Portuguese, dropped a unanimous decision to Dan Henderson at UFC 88: "Breakthrough" in September 2008.
In both performances, the up-and-comer demonstrated just how dangerous he can be on the ground — Horn and Henderson were extremely cautious when their fights went south. Ivan Salaverry — Palhares’ first opponent inside the Octagon — was not so lucky, tapping to a super slick armbar at UFC 84: "Ill Will."
TUF 10 Finale will feature a showdown between the top two finalists from the Spike TV reality show, as well as a potential light heavyweight war featuring Jon "Bones" Jones as he inches his way closer to contention against Matt "The Hammer" Hamill.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates to the Dec. 5 fight card as they become available.