Just the other day, it was announced that Shane Carwin had been forced to pull out of his upcoming fight on The Ultimate Fighter 16: Finale against Roy Nelson. One day later, a replacement has been named.
A former castmate of Roy Nelson on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, Matt Mitrione, has stepped up to face off against Nelson.
This is a huge opportunity for Mitrione, as Nelson is ranked in, or close to, the top 10 heavyweights, according to most people. Mitrione is nowhere near.
Let's take a look at a head-to-toe breakdown of Ultimate Fighter alumni.
These two have very different styles when it comes to striking.
Roy Nelson is a power puncher, and has serious one-punch knockout power, as exhibited in his most recent victory over Dave Herman at UFC 146.
Meanwhile, Mitrione prefers to go the Dominick Cruz style of fighting, as he moves in and out quickly and picks his shots well, but he does have the ability to finish fights, as four of his five wins have been (T)KOs.
Roy Nelson is a black belt in BJJ and has been active and training in MMA since 2000. Matt Mitrione is not, and has not.
This one is easy to call.
Edge: Roy Nelson
Nelson is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he also has the submissions to back it up. He has five submissions in his career, although none in the UFC as he has preferred to stand up and strike with his opponents.
Mitrione prefers to stand up as well, and has no submissions on his record.
Edge: Roy Nelson
Matt Mitrione is one of the better conditioned heavyweights in the division. He utilizes movement similar to Dominick Cruz, and that takes a lot of cardio to be able to do. He is also very strong, and a big heavyweight.
Roy Nelson has good cardio, but it is not enough to keep up with Mitrione. Additionally, Nelson has the frame to support 185 pounds if he got into good enough shape, so Mitrione will likely have a strength advantage too.
Edge: Matt Mitrione
Roy Nelson: Nelson has the same variable in this fight that he has in every fight; his chin. Nelson has a chin made of granite and will not get knocked out by Mitrione, but if he lands a big shot, he could put Mitrione out for the night.
Matt Mitrione: Mitrione will need to utilize his movement to avoid the power shots of Nelson, and he will have to pick Roy apart on the outside. One shot could end his night, so he needs to make sure that Nelson simply can't land that shot.
Roy Nelson is an all-around better fighter than Matt Mitrione. Nelson has more power, and is a better grappler. If he can land a power shot on Mitrione, he could put him out for the night.
He'll need his cardio to be good as well, though, so he can keep up with—and catch—Mitrione with a bomb.
Prediction: Roy Nelson by Second-Round TKO