Tracy Lee, CombatLifestyle.com
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale fight card primer, previewing all the action at the live TUF 16 Finale. Here, we look at the main card, including the TUF finals, Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner, and more.
The UFC's second show of the weekend takes place Saturday night with the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale live on FX. The card features a Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione main event, plus 4 additional fights, including the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson. In this fight card primer, we look at the main card fights. Be sure to check back later for Nelson vs. Mitrione. The UFC TUF 16 Finale main card airs live on FX this Saturday night, December 15, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Mike Ricci (7-2 MMA; UFC Debut) vs. Colton Smith (3-1 MMA; UFC Debut) - Welterweight Final
This is the finals for the season with Team Carwin's Ricci vs. Team Nelson's Smith. All season, Ricci has been one of the focal points of the show, with his quiet demeanor and professionalism. He's a Canadian fighter out of Tristar who is well rounded, and earned a great KO to make the finals. Smith is a wrestler who controlled his opponents en route to the finals. This is a big step up for the Army Ranger, as he has never competed on anything close to this level.
Pat Barry was somewhat of a fixture of this season of TUF as he was one of Team Carwin's coaches, and actually got a fair amount of screen time. The former K-1
kickboxer has been an entertaining presence in the UFC for the past few years, though sometimes that desire to entertain has seemed greater than his desire to win. When he wins, he wins big, and it's awesome. When he loses, he loses big. The former Roufus fighter is now working on becoming a more well rounded fighter. Shane del Rosario is a former Strikeforce
Heavyweight who brought an undefeated record to his UFC debut. But with a year on the shelf due to injury, he lost that debut. He's looking to recapture his momentum here.
Melvin Guillard has been an exciting fixture of the Lightweight division for years. He had a great 5 fight win streak in 2010/2011 and seemed on the verge of Lightweight title contention, but then lost back to back fights against Joe Lauzon
and Jim Miller. He's now just 1-3 in his last 4, and coming off a wild 1 minute KO loss to Donald Cerrone. Former WEC champion Varner spent some time away from Zuffa when the WEC closed, but came back with a vengeance at UFC 146
, upsetting Edson Barboza. He followed that up with a great fight against Lauzon, though Varner was on the losing end there.
Dustin Poirier (12-2 MMA; 4-1 UFC) vs. Jonathan Brookins (13-5 MMA; 2-2 UFC) - Featherweight
Dustin Poirier is a WEC veteran who was probably one win away from a title shot earlier this year when he was stopped by Chan Sung Jung in one of the best fights of 2012. This is his first fight since that loss. Before facing The Korean Zombie, Poirier was on a hot streak, with some seriously impressive stoppage wins. Brookins won season 12 of TUF, but has been largely inactive since that win, going just 1-2 in the two years since winning the show. He has experience against a lot of tough fighters, including Jose Aldo in the WEC, but is still looking for the kind of big win that will move him up the ladder. His last fight was a submission loss to Charles Oliveira.
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