Roy Nelson put down Matt Mitrione, scoring a first-round technical knockout of the former NFL player in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Also, Colton Smith dominated Mike Ricci for the unanimous decision in the Season 16 final of the UFC’s reality show, earning a six-figure contract with the company.
Nelson, who is known for his heavy right-handed punch, traded strikes with Mitrione early on in their contest. Mitrione landed significant strikes that shook his opponent, including an inside leg kick that knocked Nelson off his base.
Nelson, however, recovered from any shots he absorbed and threw a counter-uppercut that was the beginning of the end for Mitrione. Knowing his opponent was backpedaling from being stunned, Nelson pushed forward with a flurry and Mitrione fell to his back. Nelson followed his opponent to the ground and finished him with strikes.
The finish came came at 2:58 of the opening frame.
The victorious “Big Country” was content with the TKO, but wanted to stretch out the match longer so he can prove doubters wrong.
“I was looking to pick him apart and do it in the later rounds,” Nelson said, “and show all the critics that a fat guy can go five rounds.”
Smith Tops Ricci, Wins Ultimate Fighter 16
Smith imposed his will on Ricci for the length of their three-round affair, and set that standard from the get-go.
With superior wrestling, Smith controlled his opponent, securing Ricci’s back and working for the rear-naked choke on several occasions. Ricci, a fighter that typically competes at lightweight, had few moments in the welterweight bout where he mounted any sort of offense because his opponent scrambled and transitioned so well for advantageous positions.
For a brief instance in the final round, Ricci secured Smith’s back and transitioned to an armbar attempt. Smith was able to break the hold, however, and time expired. Smith was then announced as the Season 16 winner with a unanimous nod with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
“He was a dangerous opponent,” Smith said of Ricci. “I had to be careful with him”
Pat Barry Brutally KOs Shane Del Rosario, Dustin Poirier Subs Jonathan Brookins
Pat Barry knocked out Shane Del Rosario early in the second round of their TUF 16 Finale main card bout, landing strikes against the cage en route to the finish.
The two traded well in the first round, but it was Barry that landed the over-hand left in the second round that started Del Rosario’s demise. With his back against the cage, Del Rosario covered up, but Barry found an opening and landed a right hand down the middle that sent his opponent’s head springing backwards. The knockout was called at 0:26 of the second round.
Although he dealt with a barrage of strikes early on in the match, Dustin Poirier recovered and submitted Jonathan Brookins late in the first round of their main card fight.
Brookins looked sharp on the feet at the beginning stages of the fight, rocking Poirier with punches and short strikes in the clinch. Poirier found his timing, though, and eventually landed some strikes of his own before locking on a D’Arce choke in the final minute of the opening frame. With no choice but to tap, Brookins was submitted at 4:15 of the first round.
A scheduled bout between Melvin Guillard and Jamie Varner was removed from the card in the moments before the fight because Varner fell ill and was vomiting in the backstage area. The fight will be rescheduled for UFC 155, which takes place in two weeks on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Here are the full results for the TUF 16 Finale:
- Pat Barry def. Shane Del Rosario by KO (punch) at 0:26, R2
- Dustin Poirier def. Jonathan Brookins by submission (D’Arce choke) at 4:15, R1
- Mike Pyle def. James Head via TKO (punches) at 1:55, R1
- Johnny Bedford def. Marcos Vinicius by KO (punches) at 1:00, R2
- Rustam Khabilov def. Vinc Pichel by KO (suplex) at 2:15, R1
- T.J. Waldburger def. Nick Catone by submission (triangle choke) at 1:04, R2
- Hugo Viana def. Reuben Duran by TKO (punches) at 4:05, R1
- Mike Rio def. John Cofer by submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:11
- Tim Elliott def. Jared Papazian by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)