With Kyle Noke out of his upcoming fight due to injury, Seth Baczynski was left without an opponent. Luckily, the always durable Mike Pierce has stepped in for the Aussie. This is no short order though with Pierce having to travel to Australia for this match as it is the culmination fight card for the Australia versus England version of the Ultimate Fighter. The bouts are scheduled to take place on December 15th at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Queensland, Australia, and is headlined by a match between TUF coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos.
Mike Pierce will be a tough test for the surging Seth Baczynski, because the only people that beat Pierce are the toughest fighters in the division. At 7-3 in the UFC, Pierce has fought and beat everyone except when he faces top five competition. Losing to Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and Johny Hendricks is not a bad thing, but it does affix the title of gatekeeper. Given his fight with Koscheck was controversial, in the words of White; never leave it in the hands of the judges. Pierce will have to continue to beat up and comers if he wishes to face off against the top of the division again, and he will have to start with Baczynski.
Seth Baczynski was dropped from the UFC after his run through the TUF house as he was defeated by Brad Tavares. From there a drop to 170 and two straight stoppage wins lead him back to the octagon. Since then he has been flawless winning four straight bouts with three finishes. The problem is that he has never fought someone that can truly test him. Yes, he beat Matt Brown, but when you take Matt to the ground he does not pose as much of a threat. In Pierce he will have a fighter that should prove his durability. Just look at his last finish over Aaron Simpson for proof. This fight will show who will be ready to face the top five in the division again or for the first time.