With less than 24 hours unti K.J. Noons and Sam Stout are set to tip the scales for their Lightweight match at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" Finale at Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, the pair agreed to instead compete at Welterweight.
FOXSports.com first reported the behind-the-scenes 15-pound decision, which Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Quebec's athletic commission apparently co-signed, with neither fighter receiving a purse penalty.
No medical or health-related reason was provided in the report, except to "make it a little easier for themselves."
It's certainly an unprecedented move, particularly for Stout, who has never competed north of 155 pounds throughout his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Noons, meanwhile, fought Nick Diaz unsuccessfully for the Strikeforce 170-pound strap back in Oct. 2010 and has several catchweight bouts under his Hawaiian belt (160, 165 pounds, etc.).
Noons will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in his brief Octagon career after most recently toppling George Sotiropoulos at UFC 166, while Stout will look for consecutive victories, too, thanks to a unanimous decision over Cody McKenzie his last time out at UFC on FOX 9.
Noons vs. Stout will serve as the "Prelims" main event on FOX Sports 1, the final match before TUF: "Nations" Finale main card begins in earnest this Wednesday evening (April 16, 2014), featuring a contentious Middleweight showdown between Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy (see staredown pic here), as well as the 170- and 185-pound "Australia vs. Canada" tournament finals.
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire TUF: "Nations" Finale fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 5 p.m. ET, and then main card action that will begin at 7 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.