The Ultimate Fighting Championship came to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale. The event was headlined by a heavyweight matchup between TUF 16 coach Roy “Big Country” Nelson and late replacement Matt Mitrione.
Also tonight, TUF 16 welterweight tournament finalists Mike “The Martian” Ricci and Colton Smith battled for a six-figure UFC contract. Pat “HD” Barry took on fellow striker Shane del Rosario in a featured heavyweight bout. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s TUF 16 main card.
Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs Matt Mitrione
Mitrione blocked Nelson’s punches early on and threw a trio of head kicks. Nelson clinched, but Mitrione reversed and the fighters traded strikes in close. Mitrione broke away and landed more kicks to the upper body. Nelson blocked some with his right arm. Mitrione continued to have success with his kicks, but Nelson hurt him with a big uppercut and dropped him with a follow-up right hook. Mitrione turtled on the ground and Nelson landed punches until the fight was stopped.
Winner: Roy Nelson by TKO (Punches) at 2:58 of round one. He improves to 18-7-0.
TUF 16 Welterweight Final
Colton Smith vs Mike “The Martian” Ricci
Ricci missed with a head kick in the opening seconds of the fight, but he countered a takedown attempt with a series of elbows. Smith stood and dragged Ricci down to the mat. He took his back and used short punches to try to set up a rear-naked choke. Smith switched to a neck crank and Ricci scrambled up to his feet. Ricci defended against a takedown by hopping on one foot. Smith continued to pursue the takedown and he got Ricci down to the mat. Smith landed knees to the body before the bell. 10-9 Smith.
Ricci was struck in the groin early in round two, but referee Steve Mazzagatti did not see it and Ricci was forced to fight on. Smith clinched and secured a takedown. He moved to back control and nearly locked on a rear-naked choke, but Ricci managed to escape out the back. Smith dragged him down again and landed punches from back control. He stayed on Ricci’s back and alternated between punches and choke attempts until the end of the round. 10-9 Smith. Close to a 10-8.
Smith wasted little time in taking Ricci back down in round three. He took Ricci’s back and tried to set up a rear-naked choke, then switched to an arm-triangle choke and almost passed to mount. Ricci gave up his back and Smith resumed hunting for chokes. Smith landed punches with his left hand until Ricci exploded out and took Smith’s back. Ricci attempted a rear-naked choke and an armbar, but he lost the position and Smith regained back control. 10-9 Smith.
Winner: Colton Smith by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 3-1-0 and becomes the TUF 16 Welterweight Winner.
Pat “HD” Barry vs Shane del Rosario
Del Rosario clinched and landed knees to the body in the opening round. Barry countered a takedown attempt with a guillotine choke and del Rosario answered with more knees. Barry escaped the clinch and landed a hard leg kick. Del Rosario closed the distance and dragged Barry to the mat. He attempted a rear-naked choke and transitioned to an omoplata. Barry escaped, but del Rosario took his back again. Barry scrambled and wound up on top in side control. 10-9 del Rosario.
Barry rocked del Rosario with an overhand left early in round two and del Rosario staggered backwards. Barry rushed in and landed a huge right hook that sent del Rosario crashing to the mat. The bout was immediately waved off.
Winner: Pat Barry by KO (Punch) at 0:26 of round two. He improves to 8-5-0.
Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs Jonathan Brookins
Poirier countered a body shot with a one-two that set off a lengthy exchange of big power punches. Brookins rocked Poirier with a right hand and continued to fire off hard shots. He stunned Poirier again, but Poirier recovered quickly. He scored with a short right hook and Brookins caught a front kick.
Poirier briefly looked for a takedown and landed a combination. He rocked Brookins and the fighters clinched against the cage. Poirier flurried with punches and Brookins dropped down for a takedown. Poirier countered with a tight Brabo Choke and used it to drag Brookins to the mat. Brookins had nowhere to go and tapped out.
Winner: Dustin Poirier by Submission (Brabo Choke) at 4:15 of round one. He improves to 13-2-0.
Mike “Quicksand” Pyle defeated James Head by TKO (Knee & Punches) at 1:55 of round one. He improves to 24-8-1 with the win.
Marcos Vinicius “Vina” Borges Pancini defeated Johnny “Brutal” Bedford by KO (Punches) at 1:00 of round two. He improves to 21-3-1 with the win.
Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov defeated Vinc “From Hell” Pichel by KO (Suplex & Punches) at 2:15 of round one. He improves to 15-1-0 with the win.
T.J. Waldburger defeated Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone by Technical Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:04 of round two. He improves to 16-7-0 with the win.
Hugo “Wolverine” Viana defeated Reuben Duran by KO (Punch) at 4:05 of round one. He improves to 7-0-0 with the win.
Mike “The Wolverine” Rio defeated John “The Potter” Cofer by Submission (Armbar) at 4:11 of round three. He improves to 9-1-0 with the win.
Timothy Elliott defeated Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26) after three rounds. He improves to 9-3-1 with the win.