The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale takes place in Las Vegas on Saturday night and we’ve got our predictions for the fights for you inside.
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
Both of these heavyweight juggernaughts pack big power in their punches, but Nelson also carries an almost legendary chin so Mitrione will have a tough time putting him away.
Mitrione uses good movement though and if he’s careful defensively I think he could slowly pick Nelson apart on the feet.
On the other hand Nelson could still finish this fight with one punch and meanwhile if he’s smart he’ll also pursue a takedown as on the mat he’ll have a good chance of either ground and pounding to a decision or finishing with a submission. That’s why I think he’s the safer bet overall here.
Roy Nelson to win by submission in Rd2.
Mike Ricci vs. Colton Smith
Ricci has more facets to his game and I see him using his striking in particular to get the better of Smith while successfully avoiding the majority of his attempts to dominate him from top control on the mat.
Mike Ricci to win by decision.
Patrick Barry vs. Shane del Rosario
This could turn out to be a hard-hitting heavyweight kickboxing match-up and should be fun to watch, but it should be noted that Del Rosario also holds the advantage if the fight goes to ground.
For me Barry is the harder hitter of the two, but Del Rosario is quicker and more versatile with his output. I think we’ll see a back-and-forth battle for a couple of rounds before Del Rosario switches it up and takes Barry to the mat for the submission.
Shane Del Rosario to win by submission in Rd3.
Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner
Varner’s always game, but he tends to take a fair bit of damage in his fights and Guillard’s got the power and the speed to put a real hurting on him.
I don’t see this one ending well for him unless he can get Guillard to the mat. I’m picking Guillard to stop him.
Melvin Guillard to win by TKO in Rd2.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Dustin Poirier
Brookins is a fairly solid fighter, but for me he’s just not as good as Poirier.
Poirier is slicker, more dynamic, better on the feet and dangerous with submissions on the mat. Brookins will have the wrestling advantage, but over the course of three rounds I see Poirier doing the most to impress the judges and take the decision.
Dustin Poirier to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Reuben Duran vs. Hugo Viana
John Cofer vs. Mike Rio
Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian
James Head vs. Mike Pyle
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius
Rustam Khabilov vs. Vinc Pichel
Nick Catone vs. Anthony “T.J.” Waldburger