Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida will collide in a lightweight clash at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale, which will headline the Spike TV special from "The Pearl" at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 20, according to Sherdog.com.
Sanchez recently made his highly anticipated 155-pound debut against Joe Stevenson in the UFC 95 main event just last month, scoring a convincing unanimous decision from the judges sitting ringside.
Prior to the move south, "Nightmare" was knocking on the door of a potential 170-pound title shot with a win over Thiago Alves at UFC 90: "Silva vs. Cote" back in October before making the surprise move to lightweight.
It wasn’t the first time, either.
Before back-to-back losses to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch in 2007 — the only two blemishes on his professional mixed martial arts record — the inaugural TUF middleweight champion was on the cusp of a title shot.
Naturally, it never came.
"Nightmare" rebounded with impressive consecutive wins and had "The Pitbull" on his radar before a rib injury forced him off the card at the last minute. It also more than likely spelled the end of his career — at least for the time being — in the 170-pound category.
He now seems comfortable at the new weight and has his sights set on a different division crown; however, he’ll first have to go through the super tough Guida to get there.
Guida -- the former Strikeforce lightweight champion – is fresh off perhaps the biggest win of his career in years, edging TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz via split decision at UFC 94: "St. Pierre vs. Penn 2" on Jan. 31. It was "karma" as he put it – "The Carpenter" had two close fights against Din Thomas and Tyson Griffin go the other way earlier in his UFC career.
He is now on a three-fight win streak, which includes a unanimous decision win over TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig at UFC Fight Night 15 and a technical knockout over Samy Schiavo at UFC Fight Night 13, after dropping a sensational bout against Roger Huerta back in Dec. 2007.
This will be Guida’s third opportunity to knock off a former winner from the Spike TV mixed martial arts reality series; however, it will be no simple task trying to pin down an explosive fighter such as Sanchez.
TUF 9 will debut on April 1 and feature the lightweight and welterweight finales for the upcoming ninth season of TUF with coach Dan Henderson leading a US team against coach Michael Bisping and his British squad. The finalists from those divisions will also be featured on the televised Spike TV main card on June 20.
For more on TUF 9 click here.