The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale Results: 10 Memorable Moments
With a weekend of MMA combatives in the books, fans have been more than their fair share of action over the course of the last 48 hours.
The UFC was double-fisting this weekend, and their second hand was a series of thrilling bouts and tremendous finishes at The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale. Eight of the evening's 10 fights ended in finishes, including all four of the Fuel TV offerings, as well as three of the FX bouts.
Here is a look at the 10 most memorable moments from last night's event.
Joe Rogan Addresses Connecticut Shootings
While we all feel the adrenaline highs that are associated with watching bone-breaking submissions and big-impact knockouts, sometimes events that happen in the real world are so enormous that they must be addressed on the air.
In a sobering moment early on the FX broadcast, Joe Rogan stood in an empty arena and gave recognition to the tragedy that occurred on Friday morning in Connecticut.
It was true class for the UFC to acknowledge this attack and remind everyone to keep those affected by the tragedy in their hearts.
TJ Waldburger Puts Nick Catone to Sleep
Speaking of putting someone to sleep, no one looked better than submission artist T.J. Waldburger, whose grappling has long been the object of welterweight nightmares.
The Texan welcomed longtime middleweight Nick Catone down to 170 pounds, and the welcome party included a nasty triangle choke that left Catone unconscious on the canvas.
Waldburger's grappling is absolutely nasty, and hopefully, he will one day get a chance to test himself against some of the welterweight division's finest, such as Jake Shields or Demian Maia.
This is the third submission win for Waldburger since joining the UFC, and the 13th of his professional career.
Rustam Khabilov Suplexes Vinc Pichel into Oblivion
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
Heading into last night, Vinc Pichel was 7-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, and all wins came by way of knockout. So when he met longtime M-1 Global fighter Rustam Khabilov, who only had two knockouts in 14 wins, very few expected Pichel to be taking a nap against his will.
On multiple occasions, Khabilov displayed superior grappling by taking his opponent's back and violently suplexing him to the canvas. On the third occasion, Pichel landed awkwardly on his head and neck and was out cold immediately.
There were a handful of power punches landed after they hit the ground, but the damage was already done.
There were some incredible knockouts on this card, but in my opinion, this was undoubtedly the best of them. However, the Zuffa staff must have disagreed, as this fight did not take home KO of the Night honors.
Mike Pyle Lands Big Knee to Earn His Third First-Round Knockout of 2012
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
How is it that Mike Pyle continues to fly under the radar? He is a veteran of Strikeforce, Elite XC, Affliction and IFL and currently holds a record of 7-3 inside the UFC, which includes wins over Ricardo Almeida and John Hathaway.
After last night, Pyle shouldn't have to worry about being overlooked anymore.
Competing for the third time in 2012, Pyle met James Head on the evening's preliminary card. The fight surely didn't last long, and that is becoming a calling card of the man known as "Quicksand."
Clinched up against the cage, Pyle grabbed a Thai plumb and landed a knee from his front leg, which put the much-larger Head down in violent fashion less than two minutes into the first round.
This knockout followed two previous first-round knockouts from this year. At UFC 142, Pyle knocked out Ricardo Funch after landing a big knee, and at UFC on FX back in June, he finished Josh Neer with only four ticks left in the opening frame.
Post-fight, Pyle called out any member of the division's Top 10. I believe Josh Koscheck is still looking for an opponent for one of February's cards.
Announcement of UFC 158: Welterweight Warfare!
For many of us, Bleacher Report isn't just a site where we come for live-event coverage, but also for late-breaking news and analysis pieces. On the TUF Finale, the UFC broke some news of their own in the form of a future PPV.
Last night, the UFC made an announcement on the live show that has my welterweight taste buds doing a happy dance.
We have previously heard rumors of Georges St-Pierre facing Nick Diaz in March, and we also knew that Carlos Condit had accepted the challenge of Rory MacDonald, but we were unaware that Johny Hendricks had agreed to get back into the cage before receiving his twice-promised title shot.
The UFC 158 fight card now officially hosts the top-six welterweights on the planet in very exciting matchups.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz.
Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald II.
Johny Hendricks vs. Jake Ellenberger.
Dustin Poirier Gets Back on Track with Incredible D'arce Choke
Dustin Poirier stated in his pre-fight interview that if Jonathan Brookins tried to take him down, he was going to get submitted. While many fighters utilize braggadocio in hype films, this threat was hardly a form of puffery.
After an exciting few minutes of standing exchanges, Brookins hunted for a takedown that would allow him to get away from the dangerous striking of "Diamond." Instead, he left his neck in a precarious position, and Poirier took advantage.
In nearly no time at all, Dustin locked in the D'arce choke and cranked on it hard, leaving the Ultimate Fighter winner no chance but to tap out.
We learned in the post-fight interview that Poirier actually auditioned to be on the season of TUF that Brookins won. "I'm not good enough to be on your show? But I just tapped out your winner."
Talk about vindication.
Pat Barry Shows Improved Sub-Defense; Knocks out Shane Del Rosario
Josh Homberg - USA TODAY
If there ever was a knock against Pat Barry, it lay in his grappling. Aside from his fluke KO loss to Cheick Kongo, the first trio of losses that Barry suffered inside the Octagon came by way of submission. Any commentary regarding his potential in the sport surrounded submission defense.
Apparently, Barry got the message. For the second time in 2012, Barry did a fantastic job of fending off submission attempts. Last night, however, was the most impressive he has ever been.
Opponent Shane del Rosario threatened with a rear-naked choke, armbar and omoplata in rapid succession, but Barry not only avoided them, but turned the tides to gain top position before the end of the first round.
At the start of the second round, it looked as if Del Rosario was going to be able to work the fight back to the ground and continue threatening from various positions, but as fate would have it, he didn't get the chance.
Twenty seconds into the round, Barry landed a wobbling hook that made Del Rosario wonder for a moment if fighting is what he wants to do with his life. Without any hesitation, Barry rushed in and landed a brutal combo that separated Del Rosario from consciousness.
It was a vintage performance from a fighter whom many had written off. Well done, Pat! Well done!
Pat Barry Gives Very Emotional Post-Fight Speech
If you thought the combative action was the only memorable moment produced by Pat Barry, think again.
Immediately after the knockout, spectators witnessed Barry begin to well up with emotion. As if always taunted for his shorter stature, the 5'11" heavyweight looked to the camera before the commercial break and said "I guess it's because I'm too small, right?"
Once Joe Rogan made his way into the cage and gave Barry a microphone, the man known for his "Hype or Die" mentality fought back tears for the duration of his interview. It was very clear that the Connecticut shootings had truly touched Barry on a personal level.
"If you got kids," he said to the crowd, "go hug them like it's your last day." He also promised to come home and hug his lady, Rose, for "15 hours, straight."
It was a touching moment of vulnerability from a man who has always worn his heart on his sleeve. It reminded us that these men are warriors when the action takes place, but they are humans who bleed and feel, just like each and every one of us.
Colton Smith Gives Gracious Victory Speech
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and in his, Colton Smith pissed all over the unwritten code of ethics of mixed martial arts.
In his fight that would determine whether or not he entered the Ultimate Fighter competition, Smith offered his opponent a fraternal fist bump that is commonly seen in the sport. When Jesse Barrett went to touch gloves, Smith shot in for a cheap takedown and then wrestled his way to a two-round decision.
Coach Shane Carwin called him out on the tactic, while Roy Nelson called him a "douche."
Last night, Smith fought Mike Ricci in the tournament final and defeated his opponent after three rounds of grueling action. His post-fight speech made us see another side of the Army Ranger.
Not only did Smith support the men and women who fight for our country, but he also gave major props to Ricci for fighting through the tournament as a welterweight, despite his true home being at 155 pounds.
Smith addressed his cheap shot on Barrett and seemed legitimately remorseful for his action. Do we give him the benefit of the doubt? I think so. After all, we can't judge someone's whole career after one issue, plus he and Ricci touched gloves multiple times without another incident.
Roy Nelson Blasts Matt Mitrione for Fifth UFC Knockout
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
In the evening's featured contest, we were promised a heavyweight brawl that would end violently. As if the case with most Roy Nelson victories, we got exactly that.
Despite Matt Mitrione displaying a much-improved standup game, Nelson surprised him with a leadoff uppercut, followed by a pair of hooks. The combination dropped Mitrione and Nelson pursued the TKO by dropping some enormous bombs on his downed opponent.
The finish marks the fifth UFC win for Nelson, which was also his fifth knockout in the organization. Not bad for a guy who is a grappling wizard capable of submitting most opponents.
Nelson did not win KO of the night, as there were more deserving finishes earlier on the card. However, he is no stranger to the award, picking up knockout honors on three occasions.