Kyle Noke and Chris Camozzi will meet on the main card at UFC 127, which takes place on Saturday, February 26th at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
This middleweight bout will open the pay-per-view card, which begins at 10 pm ET.
Noke (18-4-1) and Camozzi (14-3) both got their start with the UFC during season 11 of the reality television program The Ultimate Fighter.
Camozzi's run on the show was short-lived, as he was removed in episode three after sustaining a broken jaw during his preliminary fight against Victor O'Donnell.
Noke fared better than Camozzi on TUF, making it to the quarterfinals before losing to Kris McCray via unanimous decision.
Since joining the UFC, both fighters have gone 2-0.
Noke, a native Australian, is looking forward to fighting in his homeland but is also trying not to get too caught up in it.
“It’s just business as usual,” Noke said to UFC.com. “I’m not trying to make this fight anything more than just a fight and I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. A lot of people talk about the hype of it all, but I try not to buy into it. I’ve been fighting for a while now and over time I’ve learned to make each fight just a fight. I don’t try to hype it up too much or hype it at all—I just consider every fight to be another step in my career.”
Camozzi spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about his fight with Noke. “I’m familiar with his fights,” Camozzi said. “I knew he was going to be a force on the show (TUF) when they put the rumored names out online. When I left, I thought he would be one of the guys to win it. So he’s definitely talented, he’s good. It’s a tough matchup for me."
In his early days Noke was bodyguard and then trainer to Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin. When Irwin died, Noke was training in the US with Greg Jackson. He flew back home to pay his respects to Irwin. Noke did not return to mixed martial arts right away, opting to stay on and work security at the zoo that had employed Irwin. Eventually he opted to pursue his dream of a career in MMA.
Noke brings both wrestling and boxing skills into this bout. He is comfortable using either skill at any time and is expecting a tough fight, telling UFC.com, "Chris is a strong guy, looks well rounded, and he’s tough. He can take a big shot and it’s gonna be a good war. I’m looking forward to it."
Camozzi is expecting a technical fight with Noke and not a slug-fest, telling MMAWeekly, "I (have to) stay more technical, which is probably smarter for me anyway. Better than let emotion take over and try to go wild.”