The Fight Roster Grows Once Again (TUF 16 Finale Review)

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The Ultimate Fight 16 would finish off this weekend when the two finalists from Team Carwin and Team Nelson would face off for a UFC contract. The Ultimate Fighter franchise continues to grow as international shows move on and the format continues to change. The franchise is not slowing down either as the next season of the show is already being filmed to begin in January. As the UFC continues to pump new life into the roster of fighters it is interesting to look at past winners to see where they sit in the UFC. Looking at the winners you can notice a unique pattern as more recent winners do not have much of an impact. It would be the past champions in the first few shows that would make the biggest impact in the UFC. It is almost a given that recent winners get a big contract but rarely get launched up the ladder immediately just because they won. Fighters like Jonathan Brookins, Amir Sadollah, Tony Fergusen, and Court McGee have all spent their time in the UFC as parts of multiple undercards. Then there are the exceptions to the rule like John Dodson who won in 2011 and is now in a title fight for the Flyweight title. The winners are not the only ones who make an impact though as runner ups can also have successful careers in the UFC. Fighters like Kenny Florian, Chris Lytle, and Brendan Schaub have all made an impact despite losing in the finals. These fighters have all led the way in for the very successful reality show that continues to produce fighters. Now two more fighters were looking to continue the tradition as Colton Smith and Mike Ricci would face off for the title of TUF 16 Champion. Ricci was looking to become the first Canadian to win the title as a member of the Tristar gym in Montreal and one of the more experienced fighters on the show. Hi opponent Colton Smith was looking to become the first active member of the Armed Forces to be a fighter as an active Army Ranger who trains the Army Combatives team at Fort Hood. Both fighters were looking to impose their will on the other and earn the six-figure contract and begin a career in the biggest and best league for MMA. The strategy was simple for both fighters as Smith would be looking to use is wrestling background to take Ricci to the ground while Ricci would look to keep the fight standing. The fight would start with Smith using his strategy to perfection. As the fighters came to the middle of the ring Smith immediately looked for the takedown and eventually would get the body lock against the fence controlling Ricci. Smith would use his position to earn the takedown and grind out the rest of the round with multiple submission attempts. The second round would see both fighters exchange until Ricci was hit with an accidental low blow sending Ricci down. The referee would not call time though to give Ricci the time to recover as Smith would move forward, looking to finish the fight with no indication that the fight should have been stopped. The rest of the round would continue on in the same fashion as the first with Smith on top of Ricci. The round would end with Smith dominating both rounds and most of the fight occurring on the mat. The third round was Ricci’s last chance to try to win the fight as he would need to end it to win. It would not happen though as Smith would once again press Ricci against the fence and take him down while trying to end the fight with submissions. Smith would never get to finish the fight as the bell would sound but his dominance would win him the fight by unanimous decision. Ricci would be impressive in his submission defence but that doesn’t win fights as he seemed simply outmatched in the fight. Ricci will likely fight again in the UFC but the Colton Smith will always be the TUF 16 winner as he moves on and looks to follow in the footsteps of the great TUF champions in the past.

After the new TUF champion was crowned the main event would take place in what was supposed to match both coaches against each other. Shane Carwin would not be able to take on the fight though as he would injure himself while training for the fight leaving Roy Nelson without an opponent. In stepped Matt Mitrione in the opportunity of a lifetime as he would take on one of the top heavyweights for a chance to enter the top-tier of the division. Nelson is considered one of the best heavyweights in the division despite his lack of perceived athleticism. His big KOs have put plenty of great fighters on the mat and has worked his way to the top of the heavyweight division. Meanwhile Matt Mitrione had quickly improved from his stint on The Ultimate Fighter and was turning heads in the division. The athleticism of Mitrione was beginning to make his name known as a true contender in the heavyweight division and a win against Nelson could launch him into the top-tier of the heavyweights. Nelson was looking to keep Mitrione out though and continue his run to a heavyweight title shot. The fight would start cautiously as both fighters were looking not to get caught with a big shot. Eventually Nelson would take control pressing Mitrione against the cage and seeming to prepare for a fight on the mat. Mitrione would spin out though to keep the fight standing which may have been the wrong decision. Nelson would land a big right hand then and uppercut that put Mitrione down and ended the fight. Nelson would take the win and move one step closer to a chance at the heavyweight title where he might have one more fight between him and the winner of Velasquez-Dos Santos. Mitrione took the fight on short notice and so he will not be punished for his loss although he still has a ways to go to earn a spot in the top of the division.

The UFC would hand out $40,000 bonuses for the TUF Finale and there were plenty of great fights with only two fights going the distance. The “Knockout of the Night” would go to Pat Barry who beat Shane DelRosario with a load of devastating right hands that would end the fight in the second round. The “Submission of the Night” would be given to TJ Waldburger for his Triangle Choke win against Nick Catone in the second round. The “Fight of the Night” would go to Jared Papazian and Tim Elliott for their three round war that was full of action. The fight card was another great one in the middle of a very busy week with plenty of action as the new TUF champion was crowned adding yet another fighter to the UFC roster.


Fight Results

Main Event:
Roy “Big Country” Nelson def. Matt Mitrione
(TKO; Rd. 1)


Main Card:
Colton Smith def. Mike “The Martian” Ricci
(Unanimous Decision)

Pat “HD” Barry def. Shane Del Rosario
(KO; Rd. 2)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier def. Jonathan Brookins
(Submission; D’Arce Choke, Rd. 1)


Mike “Quicksand” Pyle def. James Head
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Johnny Bedford def. Marcos Vinicius
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov def. Vinc “From Hell” Pichel
(TKO; Rd. 1)

TJ Waldburger def. Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone
(Submission; Triangle Choke, Rd. 1)

Hugo “Wolverine” Viana def. Reuben Duran
(KO; Rd. 1)

Mike Rio def. John Cofer
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 3)

Tim Elliott def. Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian
(Unanimous Decision)


Upcoming Events 

UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez (Saturday December 29th; 10:00 pm EST)
-Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez [Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Jim Miller vs. Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon
Notable: Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch vs. Constantinos “Costa” Philippou

UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping (Saturday January 19th; 9:00 pm EST)
– Live Free on FX/Sportsnet
– Sao Paulo, Brazil (Ibirapuera Arena)
Main Event: Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping
Notable: Daniel Sarafian vs. CB “The Doberman” Dolloway 

UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson (Saturday January 26th; 8:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on Fox/Sportsnet
– Chicago, Illinois (United Center)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. John “The Magician” Dodson [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Rampage Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira

One Response to “The Fight Roster Grows Once Again (TUF 16 Finale Review)”
  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    Good fights! Too bad Carwin couldn’t show up, because him and Nelson is a fight I really want to see!

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