The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 Finale Live Results and Play by Play
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Two very interesting MMA cards went down on Friday night.
Bellator 84 marked the end of the promotion's seventh season and the beginning of the heavyweight title reign of rushin' Russian Alexander Volkov.
Meanwhile, The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes wrapped up, letting fans see the return of Hector Lombard, gifting the world two new TUF winners in Rob Whittaker and Norman Parke and also giving George Sotiropoulos at least two concussions.
Saturday keeps up the brisk pace and gives us an epic card on the TUF 16 finale.
Topping the card is the big heavyweight bout between Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson. Nelson, as you probably know, coached opposite former interim champion Shane Carwin, who had to withdraw from the fight due to a knee injury. Mitrione, a former teammate of Nelson on TUF 10, stepped in to replace Carwin.
Past the main event, the main card is filled with names like Pat Barry, Melvin Guillard, Jamie Varner and Dustin Poirier. The preliminary card is brimming with prospects (but no TUF 16 fighters...Dana White hates those guys).
Saturday is a huge night of fights. Keep an eye on Bleacher Report's Live Blog of the event right here!
Main Card on FX:
Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione
Colton Smith vs. Mike Ricci
Pat Barry vs. Shane del Rosario
Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner
Dustin Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins
Preliminary Card on Fuel TV:
Mike Pyle vs. James Head
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius
Vinc Pichel vs. Rustam Khabilov
TJ Waldburger vs. Nick Catone
Preliminary Card on Facebook:
Reuben Duran vs. Hugo Viana
Mike Rio vs. John Cofer
Jared Papazian vs. Tim Elliot
TUF 16 Finale Start Times:
Preliminary Bouts on Facebook: 5:35 p.m. ET / 2:35 p.m. PT
Preliminary Bouts on Fuel TV: 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT
Main Card on FX: 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
That, ladies and gentlemen, is that.
I said yesterday that this was a great card, and easily the best FX or Fuel card we've ever seen. Much thanks to the twenty-two fighters that proved me right.
It's been a pleasure!
Nelson vs. Mitrione Official Decision
Nelson wins at 2:58 of round 1 via TKO due to punches.
Nelson vs. Mitrione Round 1
Both fighters come out looking active with their footwork. Mitrione's size advantage is profound, and he can easily land kick after kick after kick.
Nelson clinches after about a minute, and works for a takedown. Mitrione moves Nelson to the cage and lands some big knees. The two separate a begin to brawl. Nelson continues landing the kick but Nelson finds a home for his right straight.
He then lands a big right hook that dizzies Mitrione. Mitrione continues to stand and throws a looping left hook. Nelson lands a spot-on right uppercut to Mitrione's chin followed by a perfect left hook, causing Mitrione to crumble to the ground.
Nelson climbed atop Mitrione and unloaded punches, forcing Herb Dean to call it quits. Yet another knockout win to an amazing night of fights.
Smith vs. Ricci Official Decision
Smith gets the unanimous with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 29-26.
He proceeds to blow off the guy representing Harley Davidson who desperately calls for his attention, and goes on a lengthy speech.
Smith vs. Ricci Round 3
Once again, Smith immediately locks on a clinch and works Ricci to the ground. Once again, Smith gets control of his back and threatens with chokes and punches. Once again, minute after minute, gets eaten up by Smith's grappling dominance as he holds on to Ricci's back and refuses to let go.
Ricci, really, seemed almost resigned to losing as soon as the fight reached the ground in the third round. Did he quit? Maybe. Did he gas? Maybe.
Ricci, for a brief moment, teased fans with a possible robbery of the fight by threatening with an armbar, Smith defended it though and as he spent most of the fight, would once again find his way to Ricci's back when the horn sounded.
Smith vs. Ricci Round 2
The fighters awkwardly exchanged leg kicks and Ricci clearly signaled a hit to the groin. Smith stayed on him, but Steve Mazzagatti was busy texting his cousin to pause the action.
Smith took advantage, and worked the fight to the cage, then to the ground, then back to the cage, then back to the ground. He kept up the pressure, once again secured his back and tried for another rear-naked choke. Ricci squirmed out of it, but immediately ended up clinched and taken down.
Smith continued applying pressure and sporadically laying down ground and pound. Again, back control. Again, threatening with a rear-naked choke. He maintained control of Ricci's back through the end of the second round and, once again, easily won the round.
Smith vs. Ricci Round 1
In the opening ten seconds, Smith shot for a takedown as Ricci threw a headkick. Did it land? No idea. Either way, Ricci sat atop him and landed some strikes.
Smith separated and engaged in the tough clinch game he hopes to force on Ricci. Ricci tried to shake him off, but instead Smith got full back control, and began flattening him out. Smith then started to work on a rear-naked choke, but abandoned it to land some punches. He went for it again, but Ricci absolutely exploded out of it and returned to the feet.
The began feeling each other out again and Smith again grabbed a single around Ricci's ankle. Ricci went straight-up BJ Penn, and hop-hop-hopped through the attempt. Still, Smith worked the fight to the cage, and and landed a takedown, holding Ricci down through the end of the round.
It's been a long time since I've scored a round. Anyway, easy:
Barry vs. Del Rosario Official Decision
Pat Barry wins at 0:26 of round 2 via KO due to punches.
Barry vs. Del Rosario Round 2
After an odd round 1 where kickboxer Shane del Rosario tried to submit other kickboxer Pat Barry, Barry decided he had enough of this grappling stuff.
He landed a huge left square to del Rosario's face that staggered him. He chased him down and from there, landed two more giant punches that made del Rosario crumble in place.
A huge, emphatic, highlight reel win for a fan favorite that really needed it.
Barry vs. del Rosario Round 1
In this battle of heavyweight kickboxers, things started as you would expect. Swapping kicks, and then a knee-focused clinch by del Rosario. Barry got hold of del Rosario's head, but can't really threaten with a choke. del Rosario lands big knees with Barry pressed to the cage, until Barry trips him away.
They return to striking range and they once again swap kicks until del Rosario clinches. This time, though, he secures a takedown and takes Barry's back. Del Rosario looks as though he has a strong rear-naked choke, but ends up giving it up. He then works for an armbar, but gives it up, once again taking Barry's back and landing punches.
Barry would continue to defend himself from del Rosario's surprising submission-based attack, and ended the round on top.
Del Rosario, however, remains the clear-cut winner of the round, doing substantially more damage, and landing more strikes, on the ground and in the clinch.
10-9 del Rosario
Oh, before I forget, make sure to check out my predictions for the main card. I did a pretty good job on that last fight!
You may as well read it now that they're cutting to a replay of Pichel vs. Khabilov.
Brookins vs. Poirier Official Decision
Dustin Poirier wins at 4:15 of round 1 via submission due to d'Arce choke.
Brookins vs. Poirier Round 1
The lovely Miss Palmer was fast on her lap, and awkwardly stood behind Dustin Poirier to set up the whole "walking to her seat" thing we see every round.
As soon as the bell rings, either fighter starts going nuts swinging. Brookins clips Poirier, who ends up backed against the cage. Brookins desperately looks for rights while Poirier swings wild. Poirier eventually clinches, but again, Brookins lands a big one on Poirier.
Poirier once again starts working the clinch game, but must be surprised how Brookins is getting the better of him striking. Brookins comes close to taking down Brookins, but they return to their feet. From there, Poirier lands a couple big hands. Brookins resets, but Poirier lands a big straight right that rocks Brookins.
Poirier begins to pour it on, rocking Brookins badly. Brookins shoots for a desperation takedown but Poirier slips in a d'Arce choke. He tightens it up and Brookins taps. Another great finish tonight!
The funny thing is that they're trying to imply there is some suspense when it comes to who won the awards for best knockout and best submission of TUF16. During the season, there was precisely one knockout (Ricci punching out Neil Magny) and one submission (Jon Manley's guillotine choke of James Chaney).
Time to switch over to FX, folks!
Pyle vs. Head Official Decision
Mike Pyle wins at 1:55 of round 1 via TKO from knee and punches.
Pyle vs. Head Round 1
Somewhat surprisingly, Pyle vs. Head continues as planned. I expected them to move this fight to the main card to ensure the five-fight card for FX, but there it is. Now fewer people will have to see Pyle's horrible mohawk-mullet fusion and magenta trunks.
The fight starts with measured stand-up. After a minute, head lands a hard job that dazes Pyle, and follows up on it. Pyle recovers in the clinch, and lands a big hit of his own.
Head clinches, but with his back to the cage, Pyle holds a tight Muay Thai clinch and lands a huge knee that floors Head. He follows him to the ground, rains down punches and Steve Mazzagatti calls it.
On Fuel TV's coverage of the Varner vs. Guillard fight, Guillard ripped into Varner, saying he obviously didn't want to fight him, and that he has no respect for him as a fighter. He initially said that he would not be willing to face Varner again, but then word slipped from the Fox Sports personality that Dana White says the fight is moving to UFC 155. Guillard changed his tune, so you can now look forward to UFC 155 getting even better than it already was.
Bedford vs. Vinicius Official Decision
Johnny Bedford wins at 1:00 of round 2 via TKO due to punches.
Bedford vs. Vinicius Round 2
Bedford continues to pressure standing, and Vinicius tries to reach with leg kicks but lands a push kick directly to the cup.
They get back to work and Vinicius whiffs on a spin kick. Bedford pressures Vinicius to the cage, lands a big right hand that rocks Viniciusm and lands hooks to set him up for the kill. Bedford kicks Vinicius to torso, and lands several rights to a semi-conscious Vinicius.
Kate Winslow separates them, giving Bedford the TKO victory.
Bedford vs. Vinicius Round 1
Bedford quickly starts pressuring Vinicius with strikes, landing punches and leg kicks. Vinicius throws a kick and Bedford goes for a single, but Vinicius locks in a guillotine choke. Bedford escapes and finds himself in Vinicius' guard.
Bedford works to side control, tries to pull Vinicius from the cage, but ends up in half-guard and then back to full guard. Bedford quits on the ground game and decides to get back to striking. Bedfor works his reach advantage, landing punches and kicks.
Vinicius whiffs and overhand right and Bedford lands a big counter. He takes top position on Vinicius, moves to side control, briefly has a crucifix but Vinicius slips out and gets back to his feet. Bedford presses Vinicius to the cage, and holds him there to the horn. Very easy round to score.
Word just broke on Fuel TV that Varner is withdrawing from his fight with Melvin Guillard after suddenly coming down ill. Horrible news, as I picked that as the favorite to be fight of the night.
Pichel vs. Khabilov Official Decision
Rustam Khabilov wins at 2:15 of round 1 via TKO due to suplexes.
Pichel vs. Khabilov Round 1
In a battle between people with weird names, we see both fighters swing, but Khabilov work Pichel to the cage and score a takedown. Pichel stands, but gets brought back down with a big suplex, He gets back up again, and lands awkwardly another big suplex. Again Pichel gets up, only to be taken down with a big hip throw. One last time, Pichel gets up. Khabilove does another suplex. Pichel is knocked unconscious from the impact, and the fight is waved to a close.
Crazy, dominating performance by Khabilov.
Waldburger vs. Catone Official Decision
TJ Waldburger wins at 1:04 of round 2 via technical submission due to triangle choke.
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