Louisiana fighters fill UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale card

Ultimate Fighter Finale 16
Ultimate Fighter Finale 16

This Saturday, Dec 15, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will host the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Three Louisiana-based fighters will be on the main card, which will be shown live for free on network cable television. Heavyweight fan favorite Roy Nelson and ex-college teammate of Drew Brees from Purdue Matt Mitrione will go head to head in the main event. This will be the last free UFC card of the year, so don’t miss out. Check below for broadcasting details.

Live on FX

Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione

Roy Nelson – Las Vegas, 6-0, 260 pounds, 18-7-0
Matt Mitrione – Springfield,Ill., 6-3,265 pounds, 5-1-0

Former Ultimate Fighter 10 teammates, Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione will do battle in a scheduled five-round fight Saturday night. I’m not sure what the odds are that the bout will last five rounds, but they must be high. The heavyweight division has the shortest fights out of any weight division, so I wouldn’t expect this one to be any different.

Mitrione has blossomed in the UFC, winning his first five fights. But since losing his last fight he has taken over a year off. That much time off before a fight with a top tier fighter like Roy Nelson will come back to haunt him. Nelson is a challenge for anyone, so with the lack of experience and that much time off, I don’t see good things for Mitrione Saturday. I’m not totally counting him out, all his pro fights have been in the UFC, so he was baptized by fire. With that said, he will have an uphill battle to say the least.

Roy Nelson by Knockout

Co-Main Event: The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale

Colton Smith vs. Mike “The Martian” Ricci

Colton Smith – Des Moines, Iowa, 6-0, 170 pounds, 5-1-0
Mike Ricci – Montreal, Quebec, 6-0, 170 pounds, 8-2-0

The 16th installment of the “Ultimate Fighter” was a welterweight tournament that will be finished in the co-main event. With this welterweight bout, fans will see who will be crowned the next Ultimate Fighter. The winner will receive a six-figure guaranteed contract with the UFC. Unfortunately for a fight with the most on the line Saturday, it looks to be the least anticipated fight of the night.

Mike Ricci finished two of his four fights by knockout while in the Ultimate Fighter house. On the other hand, all of Smith’s fights were unimpressive and ended in decisions. Hopefully the Iraq veteran Smith will save his best for last and make it a great fight.

Ricci by Unanimous Decision

Pat “HD” Barry vs. Shane “No Limits” Del Rosario

Pat Barry – New Orleans, 5-11, 240 pounds,
Shane Del Rosario – Hacienda Heights, Calif., 6-4, 246 pounds, 11-1-0

Pat “Hype or Die” Barry has certainly lived up to that name, building a cult following of fans in the UFC. His in-your-face style has made him anything but boring. As one of the best strikers in all of mixed martial arts, he is lighting quick and accurate with his punches. His opponent, Shane Del Rosario, might be just as good, bringing in a professional muay thai record of 8-1. Barry has faced similar opponents well-versed in kickboxing and has held his own. If he stays patient he should be able to pick him apart as he has done others in the past in the UFC. Barry, having lost his last two fights, needs a big win this time out. Nonetheless, this should be a great technical standup battle of martial arts.

Pat Barry by Knockout

Melvin “The Silent Assassin” Guillard vs. Jamie “C-4” Varner

Melvin Guillard – New Orleans, 5-9, 155 pounds, 30-11-2
Jamie Varner – Phoenix, 5-7, 155 pounds, 20-7-1

Jamie Varner has looked great since re-entering the UFC back in May, but I think Melvin Guillard will end that welcome back party before the New Year comes in. Guillard has had a problem of underestimating opponents in the past, but he has grown up a lot in this sport and hopefully won’t make the same mistakes. If Guillard is on his game, he should overwhelm Varner with his size and end this early. Everything Varner does well, Guillard does better.

Guillard by Knockout

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins

Dustin Poirier – Lafayette, 5-9, 145 pounds, 12-2-0
Jonathan Brookins – Portland, Ore., 6-0, 145 pounds, 13-5-0

Kicking off the main card will be two of the brightest stars in the featherweight division, Dustin Poirier and Jonathan Brookins.

Poirier has been an absolute monster since entering the UFC. His first fight in the UFC, while on short notice, made a mockery of No. 1 contender Josh Grispi. Poirier then went on to finish the next two out of three opponents to move into a No. 1 contender spot against Chan Sung Jung. Poirier lost in the fourth round in a fight that is still in consideration for fight of the year.

Poirier will now face Ultimate Fighter 12 winner Jonathan Brookins. Brookins is trying to shake off a rusty start going 2-2 in his first four fights in the UFC. Once again, this should be early favorite for fight of the night candidate.

Poirier by Unanimous Decision

Live on Fuel TV

Mike “Quicksand” Pyle vs. James Head

Pyle by Unanimous Decision

Johnny “Brutal” Bedford vs. Marcos “Vina” Vinicius

Vinicius by Unanimous Decision

Vinc “From Hell” Pichel vs. Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov

Pichel by Knockout

TJ Waldburger vs. Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone

Waldburger by Unanimous Decision

Live on facebook.com/ufc

Reuben Duran vs. Hugo “Wolverine” Viana

Duran by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Mike “The Wolverine” Rio vs. John Cofer

Rio by TKO (Strikes)

Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian vs. Tim Elliott

Elliott by Unanimous Decision