TUF 16 Finale Preview

TUF-16-FinaleIt is the 16th season of the show that changed the face of the UFC as a new fighter will enter the UFC after winning a contract. The Ultimate Fighter is everything to Dana White and to the UFC as it was the tipping point for rapid growth of the sport throughout the world. As the seasons have moved on the fighter roster has continued to grow and with the next season already underway it does not seem to be slowing down. There have been many stars that have come from the show and two fighters are looking for their chance to become the next TUF champion. This season the two finalists are extremely different in everything they do and their roads to the show. In one corner will be the Canadian pretty boy Mike Ricci while in the other is the American soldier Colton Smith. They represent exactly what The Ultimate Fighter is about as it brings great fighters from all walks of life into the UFC. These two fighters will be fighting for their chance at a six figure contract after six weeks in essentially exile with a house full of fighters. Colton Smith will be, in a way, fighting for his country as he is the last American left standing from the house. Colton Smith is a very experienced fighter even if it is out of the octagon. As an active Army Ranger Smith was the leader of his the Army Combatives team at Fort Hood. With his leadership the Fort Hood team would win its third All-Army National Combatives Championship last year. Now Smith is looking to be the next addition to the UFC fighter stable by beating Mike Ricci in the TUF Finale. In the house Smith was one of the few fighters who stayed relatively silent throughout the process. It seemed that his military training came through in the house as nothing would shake his confidence. Smith is another member of the new breed of MMA fighter as he has no background in a specific style of fighting. He is a freestyle fighter who is comfortable on the ground or on his feet. He has good boxing and good wrestling that help him to win fights in any area of the octagon. As the 4th pick of team Nelson Smith remained on the fringes of everyone’s favorites. In his first fight Smith would beat Eddy Ellis in a fight that many thought should have gone to a third round. Putting the controversy behind him Smith would move on to beat Igor Araujo and Jon Manley both by Unanimous Decision. Now Smith is in the finals one step away from earning a 6 figure contract as a UFC fighter. His opponent will represent Canada as only the second Canadian fighter to earn a spot in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, Patrick Cote was the first in 2006. Ricci is a career fighter unlike Smith as he has been a member of the Tristar Gym in Montreal and trains with Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald on a daily basis. Ricci came into the show as one of the few fighters who may have been in the UFC soon enough without the show thanks to the people he trains with. As the season went on it was clear that Ricci was not the friendliest person in the house and a lot of that had to do with the fact that the house would change Ricci. He would become a robot in the house with little emotion toward anything that would happen. After a massive KO in his fight to get on the show he would be picked 3rd by Team Carwin as one of the more dangerous fighters on the cast. He would beat Dom Waters in his first fight by unanimous decision and then would lose one of his only friends in the house and the only other Canadian Michael Hill. He would beat Hill by a Unanimous Decision to move on to the semi-finals where he would earn a KO against Neil Magny. Now he has the chance to be the first Canadian to win The Ultimate Fighter when he takes on Colton Smith in Las Vegas. Ricci is a well-balanced fighter with good standup and good wrestling. He is yet another fighter trained in MMA overall and with the Tristar camp behind him he will be very well prepared for the fight. Although he is a well-rounded fighter he prefers to stand and trade with some great power behind his punches. It will be a matchup of complete opposites in the TUF Finale as Smith and Ricci face off to become the next winner of a UFC contract. Overall the training that Ricci has had between the end of the show and now is just simply better than what Smith will have as Tristar is quickly becoming one of the best gyms in the UFC and that will give Ricci a big advantage. Expect Mike Ricci to become the first Canadian TUF winner with a KO in the 2nd round of what should be another great Finale.

After the next TUF winner is determined the two coaches were supposed to face off in a matchup between two of the top heavyweights in the division. Then Shane Carwin would follow the very familiar path of many UFC fighters as he would suffer an injury. Carwin would be out of the fight and in his place would be Matt Mitrione. Both Nelson and Mitrione are members of The Ultimate Fighter fraternity but both are at different spectrums. Roy Nelson has been fighting for a very long time and as the winner of The Ultimate Fighter in 2009 Nelson would finally join the UFC. Throughout his UFC career Nelson has been a very controversial fighter for many reasons. First he looks like the furthest thing from a fighter with a big stomach that makes him look far from an athlete. Second is that his attitude is somewhat lazy or one where he looks to do what he can to win as shown when he told the TUF 16 fighters to win however they could and forget about earning the biggest KO or best submission. Even with this going against him Nelson has proven to be one of the most exciting heavyweights in the division. His relentless style and lack of concern for his own safety make him a KO artist. Meanwhile Matt Mitrione was also a contestant on the same Ultimate Fighter show but since then has become a different fighter. He is considered one of the best athletes in the heavyweight division especially after losing weight since participating in the show. Mitrione is a lot like Nelson except for the relentless nature as Mitrione is a great boxer with a lot more control than Nelson. Mitrione prefers to pick his spots and use his athleticism to stay on the outside and pick fighters apart. Both fighters are looking to get into the title conversation and although it may take them more than this fight to become the next contender this fight will go a long way to putting them into the top-tier of the division. The only thing that is for sure is that this fight will not last the full time as there will be a knockout to end the TUF 16 Finale.


Fight Card

Main Event:
Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione (FX/Sportsnet)


Main Card:
Colton Smith vs. Mike “The Martian” Ricci (FX/Sportsnet) 

Pat “HD” Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario (FX/Sportsnet)

Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard vs. Jamie Varner (FX/Sportsnet)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins (FX/Sportsnet)


Mike “Quicksand” Pyle vs. James Head (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

Johnny “Brutal” Bedford vs. Marcos “Vina” Vinicius (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

Vinc “From Hell” Pichel vs. Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

TJ Waldburger vs. Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

Reuben Duran vs. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana (Facebook)

Mike “The Wolverine” Rio vs. John Cofer (Facebook)

Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian vs. Tim Elliott (Facebook)

One Response to “TUF 16 Finale Preview”
  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    A fight against Carwin would have been much more interesting, but looking forward to see Big Country again!

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