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Weigh-in blog: WEC fighters prepare for UFC debut

Nick Pace misses weight for bantamweight fight against Will Campuzano

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Steve Marcus

Lightweight fighters Jonathan Brookins, left, and Michael Johnson face off during an official weigh-in at the Palms Friday, December 3, 2010. The fighters will meet in the TUF 12 Finals at the Palms Saturday.

UFC TUF 12 Weighin

Lightweight fighters Jonathan Brookins, left, and Michael Johnson face off during an official weigh-in at the Palms Friday, December 3, 2010. The fighters will meet in the TUF 12 Finals at the Palms Saturday. Launch slideshow »

The upcoming merger between the UFC and WEC was on display during Friday’s official weigh-ins for “The Ultimate Fighter 12” Finale, which is set to take place this weekend inside The Pearl at The Palms.

For the first time since news of the merger broke earlier this year, a UFC card will feature fighters from the WEC roster on one of its shows.

In fact, Las Vegas resident Fredson Paixao will be the first WEC fighter to compete in the UFC octagon when he meets Pablo Garza in the night’s second fight.

Paixao (10-3) says he was surprised when he learned he would compete on the TUF 12 card and that it’s a dream come true.

“From the first moment I tried MMA, I said that one day I’ll be a UFC fighter and I’ll take a UFC belt,” Paixao said. “Now is my chance to do that.”

A lightweight contest between TUF 12 finalists Michael Johnson and Jonathan Brookins will headline the event. The two were actually teammates during the show, both training under coach Georges St. Pierre.

Johnson came in at the 156-pound limit for the fight. Brookins followed at 154 pounds.

In the co-main event, light heavyweights Stephan Bonnar and Igor Pokrajac will both look to build off wins in their last fights. They both weighed-in at 205 pounds.

Just one fighter failed to make weight Friday. Nick Pace, a WEC bantamweight looking to bounce back from the first loss of his career, came in at 138 pounds. He’ll forfeit a percentage of his purse to opponent Will Campuzano.

The TUF 12 Finale is set to air live on Spike TV. The night’s first bout is scheduled for 3:20 p.m.

Full Results:

Michael Johnson (156) VS Jonathan Brookins (154)

Igor Pokrajac (205) VS Stephan Bonnar (205)

Kendall Grove (186) VS Demian Maia (186)

Rick Story (170) VS Johny Hendricks (171)

Leonard Garcia (145) VS Nam Phan (146)

Aaron Wilkinson (155) VS Cody McKenzie (154)

Tyler Toner (146) vs Ian Loveland (145)

Kyle Watson (156) VS Sako Chivitchian (156)

Nick Pace (138) vs Will Campuzano (136)

Pablo Garza (146) vs Fredson Paixao (145)

David Branch (185) VS Rich Attonito (185)

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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