Tyler Toner Gets New Opponent for Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale

November 27, 2010

Tyler Toner at WEC 48

Tyler Toner at WEC 48

It looks like Tyler Toner and Leonard Garcia are off the hook.

The two friends and teammates were expected to fight each other on “The Ultimate Fighter Season 12” finale on Dec. 4, but the UFC re-shuffled the deck. Toner is now expected to face Team Quest fighter Ian Loveland at the finale.

MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed the bout, which was first reported by Sherdog.com, on Friday.

Toner (11-2) made a splash working for Zuffa – the parent company of both the UFC and the WEC – at WEC 48, knocking out Brandon Visher in the first round. He stumbled in his return bout for the promotion, losing a unanimous decision to Top 10 featherweight Diego Nunes at WEC 51. He’ll look to get back on track in his UFC debut at the TUF 12 finale.

Loveland (13-7) stumbled through the fight scene bouncing back and forth between SportFight in the Northwest and Ring of Combat on the East Coast before putting together a strong run over the past three years. He is currently on a six-fight winning streak that has propelled him to a shot in the Octagon.

It was unclear at the time of publication exactly why the Toner vs. Garcia fight was cancelled, but it was likely a welcome change for the two. Toner trains primarily at the Grudge Training Center in Denver, while Garcia’s home base is Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, N.M. The two facilities foster a close relationship, considering themselves part of the same fight team, constantly training together.

“The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck” finale will determine the winner of this season of the reality series. First, in a two-hour special on Wednesday night, Jonathan Brookins will face Kyle Watson and Nam Phan will take on Michael Johnson in the semifinal bouts to determine the Dec. 4 finalists at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.