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The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 live finale predictions, preview and analysis

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 live finale is set to blow the roof off "The Joint" from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino tomorrow night (Dec. 15, 2012) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Join resident psychic Nostradumbass for a preview and breakdown of all the main card FX fights.

Stare into the eyes of Matt Mitrione ... if you dare!
Stare into the eyes of Matt Mitrione ... if you dare!
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

That's right folks, Nostradumbass is back for a second straight day with UFC predictions.

In fact, I don't think I've done two Dumbasses in one week since I bagged and tagged the Scagnetti sisters following our church's chicken and waffle dinner back in August of 2009.

Two fives still make a 10, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, we have a another night of fights ahead of us as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 ties a ribbon around its season with a live finale featuring Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione from "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And let's not forget the welterweight tournament final between Mike Ricci and Colton Smith. will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the main card action on fight night (Sat., Dec. 15, 2012), which is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on FX. The latest quick updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 6 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FUEL TV.

Shall we?

265 lbs.: Roy Nelson (17-7) vs. Matt Mitrione (5-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: For Roy Nelson, winning TUF 10 was more of a feather in his cap than it was a major career accomplishment, especially when taking into account the level of talent he was up against. Even in the live finale opposite Brendan Schaub, he was a considerable favorite.

For good reason.

"Big Country" has extensive experience on the regional circuit against formidable opposition. The difficulty for the jiu-jitsu wizard was convincing the mixed martial arts (MMA) fan base he was a real threat at 265 pounds and not just a novelty act.

For a while there, he looked to be achieving that goal.

Nelson followed up his destruction of "The Hybrid" by pasting Stefan Struve in less than a minute at UFC Fight Night 21. I'm willing to give him a pass for getting the stuffing beat out of him by Junior dos Santos because hey, who hasn't looked helpless against "Cigano."

Then came the Frank Mir fight.

I think that loss, coupled with his inability to mount any type of offense against Fabricio Werdum, says a lot about where he stands in this division. Victories over a washed up "Cro Cop" and Dave Her-can do nothing but pad his win/loss record.

The same holds true for Matt Mitrione.

"Meathead' cut his teeth in the same place Nelson blew up, but he didn't have the resume to help get him to the finals. Since that time, he's shown improvement in his overall game, but of the five people he's beaten, only one is still fighting for UFC (Joey Beltran), and "The Mexicutioner" has since dropped down to light heavyweight.

And Matty failed his first big test against Cheick Kongo in October 2011.

In addition to coming up short against the Parisian, Mitrione has been out of action for over a year. Cage rust may not be a big deal when you have 30 fights to your name ... but six? The best thing the former NFL'er has going for him is his heavy hands, but Nelson is notoriously hard to finish.

Submission? Out of the question.

This is Nelson's fight to lose and unless "Big Country" has big cardio problems, he should have this one in the bag.

Final prediction: Nelson def. Mitrione via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Mike Ricci (7-2) vs. Colton Smith (3-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: If you were making a movie about an MMA fighter rising through the ranks, overcoming adversity to beat the odds and blah, blah, blah, you'd probably cast Colton Smith. I mean c'mon, Colton Smith is a cool-sounding name.

He's also an Army Ranger out of Ft. Hood and a bona fide badass.

Unfortunately this isn't the movies, it's real life, and while Smith looks good on paper, I don't think he has the tools to win the "six-figure contract." I have concerns about his inability to finish anyone in the TUF house (four straight decisions) and prior to joining the ranks of reality TV, he was KTFO on the regional circuit.

Not a good look.

To be fair, Mike Ricci hasn't been perfect in his career, also going limp a few years back -- but that was against Pat Curran in Bellator -- not a 1-1 Steve Montgomery at Championship Fighting Alliance (CFA) in Coral Gables. And did you see "The Martian" zap Neil Magny with that elbow?

Out of this world.

When push comes to shove, it's hard for me to pick against a guy who trains alongside Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald, especially when his opponent is already talking about a future at 155 pounds. I'd be surprised if this fight sees a third round.

Final prediction: Ricci def. Smith via technical knockout

265 lbs.: Pat Barry (7-5) vs. Shane del Rosario (11-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: Pat Barry's team mates held him down and shaved his head, which means the people who train with him every day were convinced he would never make good on his promise to grow his hair out until he won his first UFC fight by way of submission.

Talk about damning evidence.

Not that it matters. For all the talk about his ability as a striker, who has he beaten? He's in the same boat as Mitrione in that three of the four guys he's defeated have either retired or been dismissed, with the exception of Joey Beltran, who dropped to 205 pounds and still came up short inside the Octagon.

And "HD" has been finished convincingly in all five of his losses.

That doesn't bode well against a talented guy like Shane del Rosario, who is just as good as Barry on the feet, but also has the ability to end it by way of submission, like he did against Lavar Johnson under the Strikeforce banner in early 2011.

But can he rebound?

Del Rosario was pounded out by Stipe Miocic in his UFC debut, but keep in mind the Team Oyama product had to overcome Octagon jitters, as well as an extended layoff that came after he was in a car accident that crushed his spine and nearly killed him.

I'm willing to overlook it.

At the end of the day, this fight boils down to the fact that Del Rosario has a ground game and Barry doesn't. When I have to pick between a guy who can pull off an Omoplata versus a guy who tapped to a rear naked choke from Slow Cop, I'll take the Omoplata.

Final prediction: Del Rosario def. Barry via submission

155 lbs.: Melvin Guillard (30-11-2) vs. Jamie Varner (20-7-1)

Nostradumbass predicts: Oh Melvin, what are we going to do with you? In 30 wins as a professional MMA fighter, Guillard has only been able to secure two submissions, the last one coming over 10 years ago, right around the same time as Tank Abbott's loss to Kimo Leopoldo in the co-main event of UFC 43.


What he lacks in grappling prowess he more than makes up for in striking, but now we've seen him KTFO, too, thanks to a sensational comeback by Donald Cerrone last August. That highlight-reel finish dropped Guillard to 1-3 over his last four.

Simply put, the formula for beating him is not that hard to figure out.

The question is, can Jamie Varner get it to the ground before getting put to sleep? He's a terrific wrestler and has the hands to set up a decent takedown attempt, but it's a dangerous proposition as "The Young Assassin" can scramble with the best of them and still packs a wallop.

My biggest concern with "C-4" is his mental state, especially coming off a recent loss to Joe Lauzon.

I'm convinced a focused and steel-willed Varner can hang with anyone is the 155-pound division (see Barboza, Edson), a place he held the strap under the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) banner. Like Guillard, he's been in the fight game for over a decade, but is by far the more complete fighter.

He just has to believe it come fight night.

Final prediction: Varner def. Guillard via submission

145 lbs.: Jonathan Brookins (13-5) vs. Dustin Poirier (12-2)

Nostradumbass predicts: Jonathan Brookins, like Court McGee and Anthony Ferguson, is one of those TUF champions that captured bragging rights for his respective season -- but little else. He drew high praise from coach Georges St. Pierre, yet his UFC run, thus far, has been underwhelming.

The Floridian is 2-2 and coming off a submission loss to Charles Oliveira.

While Brookins has serviceable hands, his real strength is in his ground game, having locked up eight submissions in 13 wins. Ordinarily I'd say that gives him an advantage going into a fight, but it betrayed him against "do Bronx" and I don't think it will be the edge he needs against Dustin Poirier.

The new and improved Dustin Poirier.

"The Diamond" was the first fighter under the ZUFFA banner to expose Josh Grispi as a "Fluke," and following his debut victory, strung together three consecutive wins including a slick brabo choke over Pablo Garza on the undercard of the promotion's FOX 1 extravaganza.

Live by the choke, die by the choke.

Poirier lost for the first time inside the Octagon when Chan Sung Jung strangled him on FUEL TV earlier this year. Undeterred, the star of "Fightville" said goodbye to the boys in Louisiana (finally) and moved to "The Sunshine State" to train with American Top Team (ATT).

Little fish, meet big pond.

I believe Poirier, 4-1 in the UFC and still just 23 years old, is the more talented fighter and if we call them equal on the ground, he's certainly got the edge in the stand up. In addition, he now has a full-fledged training camp complete with experienced veterans who will finally help him realize his potential.

Could be a first rounder.

Final prediction: Poirier def. Brookins via technical knockout

That's a wrap, folks.

For previews and predictions on the preliminary card fights click here and here. To see all the odds and betting lines for TUF 16 live finale click here and remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of "Nelson vs. Mitrione."

What do you think? Now it's your turn ... let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tomorrow night's event.

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