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TUF 16 Finale results recaps: Preliminary Card


The Ultimate Fighter Finale preliminary card might not have had a lot of name fighters on it, but it was one of the most exciting stretches of fights you're likely to see. The opening bout was the only one of the seven that went to a decision, and it won fight of the night. The other six featured two submissions and four knockouts. Here's a recap of each of the seven bouts.

Mike Pyle vs. James Head - This time last year, Mike Pyle (24-8-1) was coming off a clobbering at the hands of Welterweight Rory MacDonald. Now he's on a three-fight win streak, all won by first round (T)KO. And just like in his last fight against Josh Neer, Pyle got the KO after taking a beating of his own. Head (9-3) landed on Pyle first with solid punches and a combo ending with a knee that had Pyle rocked. Pyle clinched up and fired off a Muay Thai knee of his own that dropped Head and got Pyle the TKO victory.

Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius - The second Bantamweight fight of the event was mostly a one-sided beating. TUF 14 contenstant Bedford (19-9-1) started landing hard on Vinicius (20-4-1) early. He dropped him toward the end of the first round and followed up, but Marcos was able to survive. Johnny dropped him again in the second with a right hand in the clinch. He followed up with a brutal soccer kick to the body of Vinicius and finished the job with right hands.

Rustam Khabilov vs. Vinc Pichel - Few fighters debuting in the UFC have had as spectacular a performance as Russian Lightweight Khabilov (15-1). It took him only seconds to secure his first takedown on Pichel (7-1) and only minutes to suplex him into unconsciousness. After hitting that first TD, Khabilov never let off the breaks. He stuck to Pichel's back like glue and slammed him to the mat 3 consecutive times. On the final suplex, he dropped Vinc on his head and followed up with punches to get the TKO victory.

T.J. Waldburger vs. Nick Catone - The Welterweights were more than happy to trade grappling chops right off the bat. Catone (9-4) edged the points in the first round by getting control positions more consistently, but Waldburger (16-7) remained competitive throughout. Then in the second round Waldburger dropped Catone with strikes early. He followed that up with a beautiful triangle choke that put Catone out before he even had a chance to tap. Waldburger improved to 4-2 in the UFC and the technical submission earned him Submission of the Night honors.

Hugo Viana vs. Reuben Duran - Bantamweight Viana (7-0) let everyone know how this fight was going to go right off the bout. Just after the opening bell, he landed a crushing series of hooks that had Duran (8-4-1) rocked. Reuben was able to recover in the clinch, but Viana broke off of that quickly and dropped Duran again. You can't accuse Reuben of lacking heart as he got right back to his feet just be hit again and finally KO'd. Fantastic performance from TUF: Brazil's "Wolverine" Viana who picked up his second UFC win.

Mike Rio vs. John Cofer - Despite giving up the submission loss in the third round, Cofer (7-3) put on an impressive performance against Mike Rio (9-1) in their Lightweight bout. Going into the final round, Cofer was up by two on the judges cards. He had landed his straight left repeatedly through the first 10 minutes while mostly avoiding damage from Rio. Rio wasn't out of the game yet, though. Closing in on the final minute of the fight, he latched on to Cofer's arm to get the armbar submission at 4:11 of the 3rd round. And with that Rio won his UFC debut.

Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian - By all accounts, Papazian (14-9, 1 NC) and Elliot (9-3-1) got the night started off right. Both fighters were rewarded for their effort with a $40K Fight of the Night bonus. The lopsided scores in favor of Elliot (30-25 x2, 30-26) belie the competitiveness of Papazian's Flyweight debut. Throughout the three round fight, the two went back and forth on the feet and on the ground. Elliot did get the better of Jared with his dynamic takedown game allowing him to control where the fight took place.