The UFC has added an intriguing middleweight bout between veteran Brad Tavares and newcomer Israel Adesanya to headline The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale on July 6 in Las Vegas.
UFC officials confirmed the 185-pound bout to ESPN on Monday. The televised event will take place at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Adesanya (13-0) is on the UFC's fast track, after a 2-0 start in the Octagon. The 28-year-old Nigerian knocked out Rob Wilkinson in his UFC debut in February, and he followed that up with a split decision victory against Marvin Vettori earlier this month.
Fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand, Adesanya is a former professional kickboxer and has finished all but one of his professional MMA fights via knockout. He is considered one of the top prospects in the UFC.
He'll face a stiff challenge in Tavares (17-4), who has 16 UFC fights under his belt.
Originally from Hawaii, now fighting out of Las Vegas, Tavares has been one of the UFC's most consistent middleweights in recent years, and is currently riding a four-fight win streak.
The TUF Finale will take place one day before the promotion's blockbuster UFC 226 pay-per-view, which features a heavyweight super fight between defending champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.