UFC 168 is expected to be a massive PPV for the promotion, and now the matchmakers are slowly filling up the lineup for the traditional New Year's weekend event. Today the UFC confirmed a featherweight clash between Diego Brandao and Dustin Poirier, as well as a potential "loser gets cut" showdown between Uriah Hall and Chris Leben.
Welcome Thursday with big #UFC168 slugfests: @DustinPoirier vs @DiegoBrandaoMMA at 145 and @UriahHallMMA vs @CripplerUFC Leben at 185!— UFC (@ufc) September 19, 2013
Brandao (18-8) defeated Daniel Pineda in Boston last month, extending his winning streak to 3. The TUF 14 champion is 4-1 in the UFC, with his sole loss coming against Darren Elkins. Poirier (14-3) was involved in a fantastic fight with Erik Koch at UFC 164, where he dropped Koch twice and survived an early submission attempt to win a unanimous decision. "The Diamond" has a 6-2 UFC mark, and was highly competitive in both losses to Cub Swanson and Chan Sung Jung.
Hall (7-4) has been a massive disappointment since tearing through most of his competition on TUF 17. Back-to-back split decision losses to Kelvin Gastelum (now a welterweight) and John Howard (formerly a welterweight) have him on the verge of a UFC release. Leben (22-10) was one of the most feared punchers in the division, but in recent times he's looked every bit like a shopworn fighter experiencing a sharp decline. He's lost 3 straight, with his latest loss coming against Andrew Craig at UFC 162.
UFC 168 will host the middleweight title rematch between champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, a co-main event title rematch between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, as well as a key heavyweight battle between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne.
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