TUF 16 Finale Results: Big Country Nelson hands Mitrione first KO loss, Colton Smith is the new Ultimate Fighter

Another season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has come and gone from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, but not without another Finale full of firefights.  Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione exchanged bombs in this battle of “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” alumni, but Roy Nelson’s iron chin served him well yet again, as “Big Country” withstood everything the former NFL player had in store for him, and sealed the deal with his newfound striking abilities, which he commented on after the fight. 

“I think it’s just one of those things – God blessed me with striking.  I used to submit everybody. But when I got my first knockout, I was like, ‘This is so much easier than this wrestling and jiu-jitsu stuff.’ I was looking to pick him apart and do it in the later rounds and show all the critics that a fat guy can go five rounds.”
“It’s the first time I’ve thrown combos – that’s why I can’t wait to fight (Junior Dos Santos) or Cain (Velasquez),” Nelson said.

A victory like this one in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter Finale will certainly help him progress towards a rematch with the Heavyweight Kingpin Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos or a lucrative fight with Cain Velasquez down the road.

Army Ranger Colton Smith overcame his underdog status and a significant disadvantage in experience by sticking to what he did best throughout “The Ultimate Fighter,” wrestle.  Despite Mike Ricci being the odds-on favorite, Smith never let up on the pressure, shutting down Ricci on all three scorecards with his stifling top game and relentless submission attempts.  With how promising Ricci looked on TUF, this will not be the last that UFC fans see of him, but tonight’s win goes to Colton Smith.

Fan favorite and hard-kicking heavyweight Pat “HD” Barry brought his record to .500 with a come-from-behind victory over the returning Shane Del Rosario.  Del Rosario dominated the first round, but Barry quickly shut his lights out in the second with his patented heavy hands.  Pat Barry is always a pleasure to watch, and he adds another win to his record and the prospect of higher profile fights to his future.

Dustin Poirer and Jonathan Brookins were both game to slug it out, and Brookins seemed to be getting the better of the striking exchange.  But after a loss to Chan Sung Jung via D’arce choke, there would be no better manuever on this night to snatch for a comeback victory, and that’s just what happened, as Dustin “The Diamond” Poirer righted the ship and returned to his winning ways via D’arce Choke over the always game Jonathan Brookins in the first round.

Mike “Quicksand” Pyle found himself in some rough terrain of his own, as James Head proved to be ready for the battle and showcased heavy hands as fans have come to expect, but a knee from Pyle’s thai plum ended the war in the first.  This victory marks the third straight for Mike Pyle, who could be looking at higher competition, while James Head heads back to the drawing board after a win over veteran Brian Ebersole.

Bantamweight “Brutal” Johnny Bedford lived up to his name and kept the pressure on Marcos Vinicius with powerful punches and stout submission defense, as he put the “TUF: Brazil” veteran away in the second round with a series of strikes, including a picture perfect body kick and brutal ground and pound.  After a year-long layoff, Johnny Bedford returns with a bang.

If there is anyone new from this Finale to keep an eye on, it would be Russian Lightweight Rustam Khabilov, who utilized a suplex-based offense to put away former “Ultimate Fighter” contestant Vinc Pichel in brutal fashion in the first round.  After three suplexes and some follow-up finishing punches, the referee waved off the fight.  Fellow fighters in the 155 pound class, keep an eye on Rustam Khabilov.

TJ Waldburger welcomed Nick Catone to 170 pounds the only way he knows how, by putting him to sleep.  Waldburger and Catone jockeyed for position and reversed dominance repeatedly before Waldburger finally secured a guillotine and transitioned into a triangle choke in the second round to spoil Catone’s welcoming party.

Hugo “Wolverine” Viana may have been coming in to his Bantamweight debut, but he has not lost any of the power in his hands.  Reuban Duran was game, but after a few vicious “Wolverine” bombs, the referee was forced to intervene at 4:05 of the first round.

Persistance paid off for Mike Rio, who dueled with John Cofer and hunted for submissions all the while until he finally found his armbar at 4:11 of the third round and picks up his first victory in the UFC.

In the “Fight Of The Night,” Tim Elliot and Jared Papazian kept the action fast and furious, and the blood was boiling.  Despite the warrior’s spirit shown by both, Tim Elliot claimed the fight and continues to climb the Flyweight ranks.

Roy Nelson def. Matt Mitrione via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:58
Colton Smith def. Mike Ricci via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) – TUF 16 final
Pat Barry def. Shane del Rosario via KO (punches) – Round 2, 0:26
Dustin Poirier def. Jonathan Brookins via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 4:15

Mike Pyle def. James Head via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 1, 1:55
Johnny Bedford def. Marcos Vinicius via KO (punches) – Round 2, 1:00
Rustam Khabilov def. Vinc Pichel via KO (slam, punches) – Round 1, 2:15
T.J. Waldburger def. Nick Catone via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:04
Hugo Viana def. Reuben Duran via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:05
Mike Rio def. John Cofer via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:11
Tim Elliott def. Jared Papazian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)

Fight Of The Night:
Elliot/Papazian (125 lbs)
Submission Of The Night: Waldburger’s Triangle against Nick Catone (170 lbs)
KO Of The Night: Pat Barry



  1. Profile photo of highkick12


    December 16, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Colton Smith is such an amazing……….ly boring fighter.

    Thankfully Pat Barry and Big Country put on a show for us!

  2. Profile photo of enjoylife321


    December 16, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Russian fighter Rustam Khabilov completely destroyed his opponent with those slams on his opponents head.

    Even rampage Jackson would be nervous watching those slams.

  3. Profile photo of Akordas


    December 16, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Why Colton is boring he lands a lot punches when he on the ground, and the takedowns are interesting to watch.

  4. Profile photo of Amrak


    December 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I agree Colton is boring. TUF this year was boring and he was one of the key contributors. Man it is concerning for the future of MMA.

    • Profile photo of enjoylife321


      December 16, 2012 at 7:12 am

      Colton will be tested sooner or later against a strong wrestler.

      • Profile photo of ljense8


        December 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

        That's exactly what I want to see… Colton getting out-dryhumped by a better wrestler.
        I don't have anything against a good ground game, in fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the ground exchanges between Bendo and Diaz. The problem I have with Colton and fighters that utilize a similar style is they are only controlling, not damaging or threatening a finish. Sure he tried submissions, but they were obviously not working, so try something else. That said, he is a tremendous athlete and I feel he will be able to advance his game and become a true contender in the future. The same goes for Ricci. It was a boring season, but I think they found some good talent this year.

    • Profile photo of TheRealDeal


      December 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      If you find TUF to be boring I suggest you find another sport to watch while you sit on your lazy a$$ and make stupid comments.

      • Profile photo of TheKaybs


        December 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        Keep that rage in the cage man. people are entitled to their opinions. If they weren't they would have never moved Ultimate Fighter to a bigger stage. I like how everybody on here thinks they are the only who who has ever stepped into a cage before simply because most other people can't spell. I am in to the technicalities of this sport as much as anyone, but Colton sir (so far) has produced nothing but boring fights. If you can't see that, take off your macho man randy savage sunglasses and rewatch those fights. If you can find 5 moments of excitement (on Colton's behalf) between all 4 of those fights, please let me know. My guess is, he'll have 3 more fights before you turn around or he fights a better wrestler.

  5. Profile photo of Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee

    December 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I think Roy Nelson could do as well as anyone has so far against Jon Jones if he could shed a bit of weight and fight where he belongs. He could neutralize Jones's tricky submissions and he is used to getting inside on guys with longer reach – not to mention that JDS couldn't even KO through that thick skull.

  6. Profile photo of dropkickmurphy


    December 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Like when he reached through Struve's octopus arms and played him a sweet chin lullaby?

  7. Profile photo of KeithFarrell


    December 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Apart from being a very boring fighter, Colton is not the smartest
    The Harley Davidson sponsor guy was making the speech and congratulations, giving Colton the motorcycle keys and Colton completely ignored him… basically walked away. The guy even tapped him on the shoulder and it took Dana telling him twice ot actually accept the sponsor.
    Sorry but that was about as stupid a thing possible you could do following a uninspiring win

  8. Profile photo of Evan Holober

    Evan Holober

    December 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Ok, I have to go on a little rant here:

    Roy Nelson fights where he belongs. He's a 36 year old HW that has never cut weight in his life. The people who say "if he gets in shape", and things of that nature, what do you think that will create? Do you assume he would have the same power after dropping a good amount of body mass? Do you assume he would have more success in what is historically a much tougher division to compete in? Will he magically develop more speed to hang with guys like Rashad, Davis, or even Gustaffson/Jones? Is he not going to be undersized there? Will his cardio suddenly become amazing (considering it's only been bad in 2-3 fights against cream of the crop fighters)?

    Roy Nelson is an upper class gate keeper. That's his role, and that's where his skill/gimmick fits in perfectly. It's extremely unlikely that a drop down in body mass, and weight class, would afford him much advantage in terms of size, strength, skill, or speed.

    • Profile photo of TheKaybs


      December 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      totally agree. with the above. But I don't think it is the drop in size I would focus on but rather his ability to pick up skills in the sport and his new found love of knocking people out and being able to strike efficiently. He wouldn't lose his bjj skills and he is gaining speed with his striking experience. So there are a few things to consider beyond just being smaller. Granted, a top level gate keeper in any weight class is where he will be in the UFC. You can't argue that Pride knew what they were doing though in terms of creating champions.

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