UFC 168 adds two barnburners

The UFC’s year-end card is only about halfway completed,

yet it’s fair to say it’s loaded with talent. On

Thursday, two more additions were made to the Dec. 28 show,

including one that features a highly ranked featherweight.

Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao has been agreed upon for UFC

168, along with a matchup between recent

target="_blank">Ultimate Fighter star Uriah Hall and slugger

Chris Leben.

Poirier, who is currently No. 5 in the UFC rankings, has won two

of his last three, including a dominant win over Erik Koch at UFC

164 last month. He’s 14-3 overall.

His opponent Brandao (18-8) won TUF season 14, and is currently

enjoying a three-fight win streak, with victories over Daniel

Pineda, Pablo Garza and Joey Gambino.

Meanwhile, the Hall-Leben bout may feature two fighters facing

their last opportunity to hold on to a UFC roster spot.

Hall (7-4) burst on to the scene on TUF 17 with a pair of

memorable knockouts, but has struggled to find the same success

since, losing a pair of lackluster split-decisions to Kelvin

Gastelum and John Howard, respectively.

UFC president Dana White has been publicly critical of Hall, but

said on Thursday that Hall told him the comments have lit a fire

underneath him. He’s going to need it to beat Leben (22-10),

a longtime UFC staple who has hit hard times, losing three straight

including a recent split-decision to Andrew Craig. White believes a

loss may suggest that it’s time for “the

Crippler” to hang up his gloves. He’s been in the UFC

since 2005, debuting as a member of the original cast of

target="_blank">TUF.