After the loss of Shane Carwin due to injury earlier this week, the UFC announced today that Matt Mitrione has verbally agreed to face off with Roy "Big Country" Nelson at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on December 15 in Las Vegas. The two heavyweight contenders have a history, as both were teammates on Team Rashad on season 10 of TUF.
Phil DeFries, originally scheduled to face Mitrione at UFC 155, will receive a new opponent for the year-end event.
Carwin out of TUF 16 Finale updated November 14
The injury assault of 2012 continued today when it was learned that former interim UFC heavyweight champion and current Ultimate Fighter 16 coach Shane Carwin reinjured his knee, forcing him out of his December main event bout with opposing coach and fellow contender Roy Nelson. UFC President Dana White tweeted: "WOW!! It never ends Carwin blew his knee out. Looking for a new opponent for Roy on the TUF Finale on FX."
Guillard vs. Varner on for TUF Finale updated November 1
A match between two fighters coming off of Fight of the Night performances has been verbally agreed to as former WEC champion Jamie Varner takes on the “Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard at the Ultimate Fighter Finale on FX.
In another lightweight battle that night, two of TUF 15's standouts will reunite at the TUF 16 Finale as John Cofer and Mike Rio have verbally agreed to meet December 15 in Las Vegas.
Heavyweights Barry and Del Rosario Stack TUF Finale Card updated October 26
Fists will fly as heavyweight strikers Shane Del Rosario and Pat "HD" Barry have verbally agreed to fight on the Ultimate Fighter Finale December 15th. The event is headlined by TUF 16 coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin -- Barry was an assistant coach for Team Carwin on the season -- and will also feature the season finalists vying for the UFC contract.
Poirier Returns in December against Brookins update October 19
Featherweight contender Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier returns to the Octagon for the first time since his May Fight of the Year candidate against Chan Sung Jung when he takes on The Ultimate Fighter 12 winner Jonathan Brookins at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on December 15.
Also verbally agreed to for the TUF 16 Finale card, which is headlined by the bout between Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, is a flyweight battle between up and comers Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian.
Carwin vs. Nelson, Pyle vs. Head Top TUF Finale Bouts updated October 2
A heated rivalry between two of the sport’s hardest-hitting heavyweights will be settled on Saturday, Dec. 15 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship® makes its long awaited return to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin will meet The Ultimate Fighter® season 10 winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson in the night’s five-round main event. The two serve as opposing coaches on this season’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter® (Fridays, FX, 10 p.m. ET/PT) and will finally have the chance to trade leather this December.
Verbal agreements are in for a number of other bouts to take place that night.
Dangerous veteran Mike "Quicksand" Pyle will meet the 9-2 James Head, who's scored two straight wins since dropping to welterweight. Wrestling-based Nick "The Jersey Devil" Catone will face submission specialist TJ Waldburger in another clash of 170-pounders.
A lightweight match between debuting 14-1 Rustam "Tiger" Khabilov and undefeated Ultimate Fighter Live veteran Vinc "From Hell" Pichel will showcase the skills of the two finishers.
Bantamweights Reuben Duran and TUF Brasil's Hugo Viana have both verbally agreed to face each other on December 15th at The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Also at bantamweight, TUF 14's "Brutal" Johnny Bedford will be taking on TUF Brasil's Marcos "Vina" Vinicius.
Plus, this season’s The Ultimate Fighter® winner will be crowned when the Octagon®. The main card will air live on FX at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT.
"Big Country" Gets Mitrione at TUF 16 Finale
Up-to-the-minute news about the TUF 16 Finale, taking place on Saturday, December 15 in Las Vegas. Click here for ticket information.