TUF 16 Finale: 3 Opponents Who Should Face Roy Nelson in Shane Carwin's Place

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial artist Roy Nelson and wrestler Ricky Lundell arrive at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Another Ultimate Fighter season, another injury to a coach. It happened last season, two seasons before that and two seasons before that.

One reason that TUF coaches are picked is because they have a rivalry that will be settled in the cage. For Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, that may have to wait a bit longer after Carwin blew out his knee.

Now Nelson awaits an opponent to challenge him at the finale next month. Here are three possible guys he should face.

Note: Only fighters not currently booked to fight were considered. 


Mark Hunt

Having not competed since UFC 144 in Japan, "the Super Samoan" Mark Hunt would be an interesting choice to fight Nelson.

A kickboxer by trade, Hunt's power has put away some of the most recognizable names in MMA. Hunt may lack on the ground, but you have to get in on him first and avoid his power strikes to get him on his back.

Nelson has a titanium chin that has seen him take some of the best strikers best shots and keep moving forward. It would be an interesting checkers game of power punching vs. takedowns.

It would be interesting to see if Hunt could break Nelson's chin. My money is on yes, but let's see the fight instead of speculating.


Cheick Kongo

France's own Cheick Kongo has not competed since his atrocious UFC 149 outing against Shawn Jordan where both men did absolutely nothing for three rounds. Watching paint dry actually had some appeal to it after watching that travesty.

Kongo has a chance to make it up to fans by stepping up on short notice to fight Nelson. Kongo has a minor-card headlining name value that could keep this card attractive should he take the fight.

Kongo is a striker by nature, but has used takedowns and clinch work in the past to inflict damage on his opponents. Nelson is a much better ground fighter, so I think we'd see a classic Muay Thai Kongo in the Octagon.

This is definitely a matchup worth considering. It would save the main event and give fans an interesting matchup.


Josh Barnett

This is easily the biggest long shot of them all, but putting on a Josh Barnett-Roy Nelson headliner to save the card would attract immediate interest.

Barnett's past history with the company makes this a long shot due to steroid use and other stipulations surrounding his personal life. However, Barnett possesses the ground game to make for an interesting grappling match between the two.

The buildup to the fight would be great as well. Barnett cuts promos like a professional wrestler. He's sort of a poor man's Chael Sonnen with a more psychotic edge.

Let's not hold our breath on this one, but it would definitely be something fans would watch.