In a night full of exciting fights, The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale main card did not disappoint with three early finishes and only one fight going to the judges’ scorecards.

Jamie Varner and Melvin Guillard’s fight was postponed due to Varner falling ill before the fight, but the main card fought on with Roy Nelson and Pat Barry taking knockout victories in their respective heavyweight fights.

At featherweight, Dustin Poirier came ready to fight and was able to beat a former Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins.

The Ultimate Fighter 16 came to an end tonight with Colton Smith showing an impressive display of grappling, dominating Mike Ricci over three rounds.

The card aired live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with the main card showing on FX, with the undercard split between Fuel TV and YouTube.

Nelson earns TKO over Mitrione

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione showed improved striking skills in the first round, but was unable to crack the chin of Roy Nelson.

After clinching against the cage, Mitrione was landing some heavy shots on Nelson utilizing kicks and punches. Nelson’s chin was able to weather every shot and eventually Nelson was able to land a right uppercut that stunned Mitrione. Nelson then finished it off with a left hook and a right hand before the referee jumped in.

Smith claims TUF crown after decision victory over Ricci

Colton Smith opened the fight by dropping down for a takedown under the head kick attempt from Mike Ricci. Smith got Ricci down, but Ricci was able to get a good amount of hammerfists to Smith’s head before standing back up.

Smith eventually got Ricci’s back and was able to get both hooks in while working strikes from Ricci’s back. Smith and Ricci fell back against the cage with Smith still attacking from behind, trying to get the rear-naked choke. Ricci eventually was able to reverse the position and stand back up as the round closed.

The second round began quite oddly as Smith seemed to strike Ricci in the groin. The two swirled around a little bit, allowing Ricci to call over to referee Steve Mazzagatti to inform him of the low blow, but Mazzagatti saw nothing wrong with the shot and the two continued to fight.

Smith again, tried choking Ricci out but couldn’t finish the choke for the second time. Ricci showed incredible heart and skill in the avoidance of both choke attempts. Smith tried a couple more times to choke out Ricci before the end of the second round, but was unable to get his arm under the chin and couldn’t finish the choke.

It didn’t take long for Smith again to get the back of Ricci early in the third round and attempted to finish off Ricci with yet another rear-naked choke attempt.

The two spent the majority of the third round in the same back mount position as the previous two rounds, but Ricci eventually got Smith’s back and attempted an armbar after he was shaken off. Unfortunately for Ricci, Smith was able to get out and end the third round in what was a dominating display of grappling from Smith in the fight.

Barry’s left hand earns him knockout victory over Del Rosario

For a fight between two striking gurus, a good portion of the first round was spent on the ground. Shane Del Rosario went for a takedown and immediately swept Pat Barry’s back and tried to submit him with a rear-naked choke. Barry was able to shake Del Rosario and gave up his right arm in the process. Del Rosario then went for an armbar that proved unsuccessful and then had an omoplata, but decided not to go for it.

Barry opened the second round from southpaw, landing a staggering right hook that shook Del Rosario. Barry then followed it up with a left hand that staggered Del Rosario back. Barry barreled forward and hit Del Rosario with multiple right hand bombs for the second -ound knockout victory.

Poirier submits Brookins

Dustin Poirier came out utilizing a lot of movement and eventually started pushing Jonathan Brookins back. While doing that, Poirier ate a stiff right hand that started both fighters swinging for the fences with a barrage of punches. Good head movement and timing definitely helped Poirier survive the brawl early on.

Brookins offensive striking looked good in the first, catching Poirier with a couple of nice strikes, but his defense seemed lacking, getting hit by a lot of head strikes from Poirier. Eventually Brookins’ luck defensively ran out and Poirier was able to drop Brookins, then latching onto a d’arce choke to end the fight.

Roy Nelson def. Matt Mitrione by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:58
Colton Smith def. Mike Ricci by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) – TUF 16 winner
Pat Barry def. Shane Del Rosario by knockout (punches). Round 2, 0:26
Dustin Poirier def. Jonathan Brookins by submission (d’arce choke). Round 1, 4:15
Mike Pyle def. James Head by TKO (knee and punches). Round 1, 1:55
Johnny Bedford def. Marcos Vinicius by knockout (punches). Round 2, 1:00
Rustam Khabilov def. Vinc Pichel by knockout (suplex and punches). Round 1, 2:15
T.J. Waldburger def. Nick Catone by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 1:04
Hugo Viana def. Reuben Duran by knockout (punch). Round 1, 4:05
Mike Rio def. John Cofer by submission (armbar). Round 3, 4:11
Tim Elliot def. Jared Papazian by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)

Photo: Roy Nelson (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.