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UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale fight card primer: Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione

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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 event fight: Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione.

Tracy Lee,

The main event at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale features one half of this season's TUF coaches as Roy Nelson (17-7 MMA; 4-3 UFC) faces replacement Matt Mitrione (5-1 MMA; 5-1 UFC). This 5 round fight (!) is the last of 5 main card bouts. 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.

The original plan for this fight was of course Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin. Those two were the coaches on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Though pre-show hype talked up their rivalry, they had almost no interactions on the show. When Carwin stepped out with an injury, Mitrione took his place. Interesting, Nelson and Mitrione entered the UFC at the same time, as both were contestants on season 10 of TUF. Both members of Team Rashad, Mitrione was eliminated by James McSweeney before he and Nelson met in the ring.

How do these two stack up?

Nelson: 36 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach
Mitrione: 34 years old | 6'3" | 82" reach

What have these two done recently?

Nelson: W - Dave Herman (KO) | L - Fabricio Werdum (UD) | W - Mirko Filipovic (TKO)
Mitrione: L - Cheick Kongo (UD) | W - Christian Morecraft (KO) | W - Tim Hague (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Roy "Big Country" Nelson won that season of TUF, and thanks to his victory there, plus his already solid resume, he was quickly moved up the UFC ranks at Heavyweight. He's faced many of the division's best, but is yet to walk away with a win over a real top name. Nelson is a skilled grappler, but often likes to rely on his big overhand right. He showed off that punching power in his last fight, a huge KO win over Dave Herman earlier this year. He's been slimming down lately, and we'll see how he looks for this fight.

More on The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale

Matt Mitrione is the rare fighter who has spent his entire professional career inside the Octagon. The former NFL player started his career 5-0, showing good progression every fight. His last fight was a big step up as he faced Heavyweight gatekeeper Cheick Kongo. After dropping a decision in that fight, Mitrione has been on the sidelines for over a year. He attempts to get back on the winning side here.

Why should you care?

This should be a fun Heavyweight clash with two big guys throwing bombs until one goes down. That sort of thing can certainly be a good time.

More UFC Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale preview content from Bloody Elbow:

TUF 16 Finale staff picks and predictions - Tim Burke