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TUF’ 13 finale weigh-in: Nijem and Ferguson set to duel for UFC contract

All 24 fighters make weight, action kicks off Saturday from the Palms

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Sam Morris

Ramsey Nijem, left, and Tony Ferguson face off during the weigh in for the TUF Season 13 fight card Thursday, June 2, 2011.

TUF 13 Weigh In

Clay Guida and Anthony Pettis face off during the weigh in for the TUF Season 13 fight card Thursday, June 2, 2011. Launch slideshow »

TUF 13 Workout

Clay Guida shadow boxes during workouts for the TUF Season 13 fight card Thursday, June 2, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Ramsey Nijem and Tony Ferguson shook hands and kept their distance while posing for a stare-down photo after making weight for their Ultimate Fighter 13 finale bout Friday at the Palms.

Although the two don’t particularly like each other, they see no reason to add extra fuel to the matchup. Their foremost dream already hangs in the balance.

Nijem, who weighed in at 170 pounds, and Ferguson, who tipped the scales at 169, will fight for a $100,000 UFC welterweight contract and "The Ultimate Fighter" championship Saturday night. Their bout headlines a 12-fight event that starts at 3 p.m. from the Pearl at the Palms. Spike will broadcast the main card beginning at 6, while the preliminary bouts will air on facebook.

Nijem and Ferguson have each spent the three months since the reality show stopped filming in Las Vegas training in good company. Nijem returned to his home gym, The Pit Elevated, in Orem, Utah, where he worked extensively with close friend Court McGee and periodically with Jonathan Brookins.

Brookins and McGee are the last two TUF champions, capturing the 11th and 12th seasons, respectively.

Ferguson, who fights out of Ventura, Calif., normally, spent most of his camp in Alexandria, Minn., at Brock Lesnar’s DeathClutch Gym. Lesnar coached Ferguson on the show. The former UFC heavyweight champion came away so impressed with Ferguson’s work ethic that he invited him to continue his training.

“Brock allowed me to be inside his family group, and that was the coolest thing in the world,” Ferguson said. “That guy is a role model like crazy, no matter what anyone says about Brock.”

Nijem, who was on Junior dos Santos’ opposing squad during the show, said McGee’s role as mentor proved invaluable to his experience on the show.

“When he went through the house and I saw what he was able to accomplish, I just took his advice and did what he did,” Nijem said. “I’ve had the same result so far.”

Every fighter on the card made weight Friday and most kept the interaction as cordial as Nijem and Ferguson — with one minor exception.

After Danny Downes and Jeremy Stephens each made weight for their lightweight fight, Downes extended his arm for a handshake. Stephens turned his back and walked away.

Downes is a training partner of Anthony Pettis, the former WEC lightweight champion who fights in the most significant bout of the evening. Pettis challenges UFC veteran Clay Guida, who as usual got the loudest applause at the weigh-in.

Pettis and Guida were both 155 pounds. Check below for full results from the TUF 13 finale weigh-in.

Welterweight TUF Final: Ramsey Nijem (170) vs. Tony Ferguson (169)

Lightweight Bout: Clay Guida (155) vs. Anthony Pettis (155)

Middleweight Bout: Ed Herman (186) vs. Tim Creuder (185)

Light Heavyweight Bout: Kyle Kingsbury (206) vs. Fabio Maldonado (203)

Welterweight Bout: Chuck O’Neil (170) vs. Chris Cope (170)

Lightweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens (156) vs. Danny Downes (155)

Featherweight Bout: Josh Grispi (145) vs. George Roop (146)

Welterweight Bout: Ryan McGillivray (169) vs. Shamar Bailey (170)

Welterweight Bout: Clay Harvison (171) vs. Justin Edwards (170)

Bantamweight Bout: Scott Jorgensen (135) vs. Ken Stone (136)

Bantamweight Bout: Reuben Duran (136) vs. Francisco Rivera (136)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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