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UFC

Full report: TUF 16 Finale

Octagonside by Anthony Springer Jr.

Roy Nelson wanted to knock out fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Shane Carwin, but he pulled out of the bout with a knee injury.

Knocking out Matt Mitrione would suffice.

In textbook “Big Country” fashion, Nelson used his dangerous right hand to set up a TKO finish in the opening stanza of their main event scrap.

Mitrione made the fatal mistake of trading with Nelson and standing in front of the power puncher, virtually ensuring a loss. In the early moments, the former NFL player did a good job keeping Nelson off balance with a mix of kicks and jabs. After a brief clinch session, the pair separated.

The shorter Nelson gave up height, weight and reach, but landed a well-timed counter right uppercut that wobbled Mitrione. A follow up three punch combo sent Mitrione to the mat where Nelson swung away while Mitrione covered up until Herb Dean halted the bout at the 2:58 mark.

“I used to submit everybody, but when I got my first knockout I said this is so much easier than this wrestling and jiu-jitsu,” said Nelson, who just started striking in 2009.

Despite the quick KO, Nelson was planning to take Mitrione into deep waters to silence the critics.

“I wanted to show all the critics that a fat boy could go five rounds,” he said with a smile.

Smith becomes the next Ultimate Fighter

There were no surprises when Colton Smith matched up with Mike Ricci in season 16’s Ultimate Fighter finale. Smith was coming in to take the fight to the ground. Ricci needed to stop it.

Takedowns won the day.

Colton Smith ran a wrestling clinic on Ricci to take a lopsided unanimous decision to snare season sixteen’s Ultimate Fighter crown. The Army Ranger came out and immediately got in Ricci’s face. Smith’s initial takedown fell short, allowing the Tri Star prospect to unleash a series of elbows to the side of Smith’s face. Smith’s persistence paid off as he took Ricci’s back and nearly finished the bout with a rear naked choke.

Barring two blown calls from referee Steve Mazagatti, the trajectory of the bout took a similar pace for the next ten minutes. Ricci was hit with a low blow and responded by punching Smith in the throat. Mazagatti nearly halted the bout and bizarrely stepped away. As both fighters gathered their bearings, Smith continued his takedown dominance and nearly finished in the last two rounds with the chokes.

“Mike Ricci is a 155 pounder,” Smith said. “He’s tough as nails.  He came in the house and whooped the crap out of everybody.”

The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26. Smith took some time out of his celebration to shout out the troops overseas.

“There’s 20 more people in the armed forces that don’t get this opportunity that are just as good, if not better.”

Barry, Poirier earn KO wins

It wasn’t a fire fight, but it ended with dynamite. Pat Barry got back to his old ways, tattooing Shane Del Rosario’s face with a right hook to finish their heavyweight tilt in the second round. The bout got off to a slow start as the two kick boxers jockeyed for position in the clinch. Barry showed improved submission defense when the bout hit the canvas, fighting off an arm bar and rear naked choke attempt. Barry ended the round on top, a sign of things to come. A big left hand early in the second frame wobbled Del Rosario. After hesitating for a moment, Barry dove in with killer instinct. He plastered Del Rosario with a right-left combination before landing the knockout right hook. “I’m either winning all the way or losing all the way, there’s no in between.” With the win, Barry moves to .500 in the UFC with a 5-5 record. “It’s a rough ride coming out here,” Barry added. “Anybody that says they don’t get nervous is a liar. It’s been a lot of ups and downs.”

Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins made a good show of his homecoming, but didn’t have enough fire power to put away Dustin Poirier. After getting throttled in the early going, “The Diamond” came alive under pressure to finish Brookins with a D’Arce choke at 4:15 in the opening round. After eating some shots against the cage, a desperate Brookins lunged for a takedown and fell victim to the choke. “We only have 15 minutes to get it done, I’m not trying to waste any time,” Poirier said. “I wanted to come back and make a statement.” Poirier also revealed he tried out for TUF the year Brookins won and deemed this win, his “Ultimate Fighter” finale.

The Undercard

Prior to his current streak of finishes, Mike Pyle notched just three (T)KO wins in his career. After knocking out James Head, he’s got three in a row. After losing the battle temporarily on the feet, Pyle launched a knee into Head’s head. The blow sent “Quicksand’s” opponent to the mat where three or four unanswered punches forced referee Steve Mazagatti to halt the contest at the 1:55 mark.

“Brutal” Johnny Bedford dominated Marcos Vinicius en route to a second round knockout win at 1:51. The former TUF cast member had his way with Vinicius standing and in the clinch in the opening round. A devastating straight right landed on the button in the second round, sending Vinicius to the mat. A few punches later and Vinicius lay unconscious and Bedford was howling in victory.

It looked more like a game of Street Fighter than an MMA bout. Rustam Khabilov put on a suplexing exhibition against Vinc Pichel. The hapless Pichel was knocked unconscious by a belly to back suplex. The extra punches Khabilov landed were unnecessary icing on the cake and the result of what happens when a referee is out of position. Time of stoppage was 2:15 in the opener.

TJ Waldburger used a triangle choke to separate Nick Catone from his senses. After dropping Catone with punches, Waldburger scrambled on the ground before locking up the fight finishing hold. The bout was halted after Catone stopped responding to referee Herb Dean’s questions. Time of stoppage was 4:32 in the second round.

Hugo Viana showed the world why is name is the “Wolvering,” mauling Duran before unleashing an overhand right that ended the bout at the 4:05 mark in the opening round.

In the battle of the TUF: Live castmates, Mike Rio tapped John Cofer with an armbar at 4:11 in the third round.

In the night’s first bout on Facebool, Timothy Elliott topped Jared Papazian in featherweight action via unanimous decision. The two men went back and forth for the entire fifteen minutes, with a brief pause when Elliott was hit with a knee on the ground. The judges scored the bout 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26.
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Coming up next: UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II is LIVE on PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET, Saturday, Dec. 29. Click here for more info.




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