USA TODAY Sports
Knockout wins by Pat Barry and Roy Nelson at tonight's (Dec. 15, 2012) Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 finale was a perfect example of how fights can be entertaining and competitive without having much at stake in the division rankings.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today (Dec. 15, 2012) capped off a busy weekend of mixed martial arts (MMA) action with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 finale, headlined by a heavyweight main event pitting Roy Nelson against late-replacement Matt Mitrione.
"Big Country" won by way of blistering knockout.
So too, did main card combatant Pat Barry. "HD" was paired off against Shane del Rosario and sent the Strikeforce import ass over tin cups with a devastating combination that not only got him back into the win column, but earned him an extra $40,000 for "Knockout of the Night."
Not too shabby.
Yet despite their high-profile wins, I think it's safe to say that neither Nelson nor Barry will be challenging for the division title anytime soon. The former is just too small (see Fabricio Werdum) and the latter has the ground game of a newborn calf.
That's fine by me.
While they could probably hurt some fools if they took the time (and effort) to drop down to light heavyweight, a division better suited for their smaller frames, I'm not sure a trip south is in the cards for either competitor. Yes, I'm aware that Barry is teasing 205, but I'm a "believe it when I see it" type of cat.
I'm fine if they stay at heavyweight -- and I'm fine if they go.
I think tonight's performances proved that novelty fights can be a good thing and that MMA match-ups don't always have to be saddled with title implications, top 10 rankings or any of that other baggage. Sometimes, it's fun to just watch a couple of guys get in there and bang.
This isn't all about the stand-up, either. I'd be perfectly happy watching two submission specialists in there playing chess, assuming the drunken live crowd could make it one round without booing and barking "body bag" comments. After all, isn't that why we have FX Channel an FUEL TV to begin with?
For more on tonight's TUF 16 finale including results, recaps, video analysis and more from "Sin City," check out our "Nelson vs. Mitrione" results stream by clicking here.