With the ratings of this season of The Ultimate Fighter in a tailspin, the UFC has quickly been announcing matchups for the season finale. Unlike previous seasons, it looks as though this season’s finale won’t feature many fights between the not-quite-worthy competitors from the show, as a total of eight fights between current UFC fighters have been announced for the finale. Which is good, because most of you reading this don’t know or care about anyone from this season of TUF 16 in the first place.
The two most recent fights booked for the TUF 16 Finale are a featherweight showdown between Jonathan Brookins and Dustin Poirier and a flyweight bout between Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian.
After winning five straight fights under the Zuffa banner, Dustin Poirier would suffer a fourth round D’arce choke loss to Chan Sung Jung at UFC on FUEL 2. Despite the loss, Poirier put on a Fight of the Night – and arguably Fight of the Year – worthy performance, proving that he’s still a contender in the featherweight division despite the loss to Jung. Meanwhile, things cannot possibly be going more differently for Jonathan Brookins. After defeating Michael Johnson by unanimous decision to win The Ultimate Fighter Season Twelve, Brookins would drop a unanimous decision to Erik Koch, knock out Vagner Rocha and most recently get choked out by Charles Oliveira at June’s TUF 15 finale.
I’d call this fight a squash match, but if Brookins’ win/loss pattern is any indication, he should probably win this fight. Of course, if I’m looking at talent, UFC experience, athleticism, level of competition and all that other silly stuff, Poirier takes this fight, no doubt.
As for the other matchup, it’s more than likely “Loser Leaves Town” when Tim Elliott squares off against Jared Papazian. Eliott stepped up to replace Darren Uyenoyama on short notice against John Dodson, but dropped a unanimous decision to the flyweight contender. Papazian, meanwhile, is 0-2 in the UFC after losing a majority decision to Mike Easton and then getting punked by Dustin Pague before losing by rear-naked choke in the first round.
For those of you keeping track, the lineup for the TUF 16 Finale looks like this:
Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson
Mike Pyle vs. James Head
Jonathan Brookins vs. Dustin Poirier
Nick Catone vs. TJ Waldburger
Reuben Duran vs. Hugo Viana
Vinc Pichel vs. Rustam Khabilov
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius
Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian
Also of note, December 15′s UFC on FX 6 has added a featherweight fight between Chad Mendes and Hacran Dias to the lineup. “Money” Mendes is coming off of a thirty-one second knockout over Cody McKenzie at UFC 148 that we pretty much all saw coming. He was given the rebound fight after suffering a knockout at the hands of current featherweight champion Jose Aldo back at UFC 142. As for Dias, the training partner of Jose Aldo defeated Yuri Alcantara in his UFC debut at UFC 147, improving his record to 21-1-1. An entertaining fight is to be expected when these two eventually meet up.