When the champion of this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is crowned in Las Vegas on April 13, the bout will not be the main attraction.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will defend his title against John Moraga on the card, according to sources close to the organization. It will mark the first time a UFC belt is on the line on a “TUF” finale.
No venue has been announced for the event. “TUF” finale cards are typically at the Hard Rock Hotel, but Def Leppard is playing at The Joint on that night.
In addition, Miesha Tate will make her UFC debut against Cat Zingano. It’s only the second female fight the UFC has announced and the first one that doesn’t involve champion Ronda Rousey.
Also, heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Travis Browne will meet.
Two featherweight fights are also set to be announced. Bart Palaszewski will fight Cole Miller, and Daniel Pineda will take on Justin Lawrence.
The remainder of the card is likely to be filled by contestants from this season of the reality show, which airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX (Cable 24).
In other Las Vegas-related scheduling news, the UFC has requested the date of May 25 from the Nevada Athletic Commission to host a pay-per-view card at the MGM Grand. The annual Memorial Day weekend card is expected to be announced as UFC 160.
■ BRAZIL DRUG TEST UPDATE — UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone after his first-round knockout loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov on the UFC on FX 7 card last month in Sao Paulo, but his result is not what has drawn the most headlines.
Vitor Belfort, a former light heavyweight champion who has recently challenged for both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles, was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for testosterone replacement therapy.
He had previously refused to confirm or deny whether he was undergoing the treatment.
There had been rumors Belfort had tested positive, but a statement issued by the UFC on the situation said Belfort is on a medically approved TRT regimen in Nevada for hypogonadism and tested within normal levels for an adult male.
The case is even more controversial than other TRT situations because Belfort previously tested positive for steroids in Nevada in 2006.
Fellow middleweight contender Michael Bisping, who lost to Belfort on the Brazil card, issued his own statement on the matter.
“As I said right after the fight, I lost because I made a mistake and Vitor took advantage of it. It sucks. I don’t like it, but that was the result. I lost. Bottom line,” said Bisping, who has often expressed reservations about the TRT treatments in the sport.
“All I have to add, about this specific instance, is that it is very disappointing that someone who was caught cheating with testosterone in the past, now gets to use testosterone legally. A well-known side effect of steroids is that it reduces testosterone, so I don’t understand how it would make sense to then grant someone an exemption to then increase testosterone.”
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.