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Matt Mitrione meeting Roy Nelson at TUF 16 Finale

Another instance of a fight between opposing Ultimate Fighter coaches was laid to waste by injury earlier this week when heavyweight Shane Carwin withdrew from a December 8 rumble with Roy Nelson after a knee injury put him out of commission. Fortunately, the UFC hasn’t wasted any time finding a replacement, booking Matt Mitrione for a match-up with “Big Country” at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale. Mitrione and Nelson are no doubt very familiar with one another based on the time the two spent together as part of Rashad Evans’ team on TUF 10.

Officials confirmed the clash earlier today.

Mitrione hasn’t fought in more than a year due to injury, facing Cheick Kongo in October 2011 where he suffered the first loss of his career. He holds an overall record of 5-1 with four TKOs including those in wins over Tim Hague and Christian Morecraft.

The 17-7 Nelson also has a knack for finishing foes, scoring 15 stoppages during his run in MMA. The bearded brawler was last seen dropping Dave Herman in less than a minute this past May. He has also notched in-ring success against the likes of Mirko Filipovic, Brendan Schaub, and Stefan Struve.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    That should also say, due to injury, and other fighters pulling out constantly. Glad that Mitrione is finally getting another opponent, this should be a good fight I hope, although Big Country does have the experience on his side.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    I thought Meathead was too busy calling out over the hill LHW?? Big Country is going destroy him

  • hindsightufuk says:

    this can be added to the illustrious list of most pointless, worthless fights ever.



  • Rece Rock says:

    Big Country gets a useless win here…

    I like Meathead but Roy got a good chin and a decent gas tank, if this goes to the ground and Roy subs him or depletes the rest of MM’s gas tank on the ground and gets the stoppage with strikes on the ground.

  • Screenplaya says:

    i think this is a pretty good job of last-minute matchmaking. I have beem wanting to see Meathead fight again, and all he needs is to do well for this to workout for him.

    I hope Nelson agrees to stay standing. That could make for an excellent fight.

  • G-DUB says:

    The UFC could’ve done better than this. This was a perfect spot to give Arlovski another shot and sell it as a revenge match for Nelson. Hard to believe at this point that AA is the only man to ever KO Nelson or stop him in any way. Also at a time where AA is on a win streak and showing some life in the octagon. I suppose, for a smaller show, AA is just too expensive. That or the fences between the UFC and AA can never be mended at this point. Regardless, more intrigue in the AA matchup than Meathead.

  • trupert says:

    The UFC could’ve done better by not breaking up a pre-existing fight with Mitrione vs De Fries and going with one of the other available fighters. I think Miocic should fight Travis Browne, which leaves Kongo, Mir, Struve, Hunt…..and Barnett. No to Mir and Struve as he recently fought them, and rumor has it that Hunt is still hurt, so (with the history between Barnett and UFC) Kongo was the obvious choice.

    then go with Barnett vs Mir and
    Struve vs Hunt

  • trupert says:

    UPDATE: I’m not one for ‘cross-pollination’ with news from other sites, but I just read that Kongo turned down the fight with Roy…..French puss!
    So I guess crossing the hurdles with Barnett/Strikeforce/Showtime/Zuffa etc etc was just too much to deal with as well.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I am not a huge fan of Kongo but he did beat Matt and should be ahead in line for this shot, he is also much more well rounded, but Matt also is a solid fighter just that he is going against a very tough and experienced fighter who should be able to do what he wants here. Good step up and this really outs Matt on the radar if he can get a win here.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I’m fine with this matchup. Roy Nelson is 36 years old, has dropped 3 of his last 5 fights, and has never beaten a top-10 fighter. He’s got solid all around skills and is a decent test for most guys in the HW division….but he’s basically a poor man’s gatekeeper (who will never be a serious title contender). If a guy like Meathead is ever gonna break thru (not likely), Roy is the type of guy he’ll have to get thru on his way up the rankings.

    As for the fight itself, I agree with some of the previous comments. If the bulk of the action stays on the feet this could be pretty entertaining, but if Roy is set on getting it to the ground he’ll probably grind out a win where the only question will be if Meathead can fend off a submission.


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