The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale: December 15, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Heavyweight Contender Roy Nelson (-210) Profile: Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10, outspoken, big-bellied heavyweight Roy Nelson (17-7) may be undersized and seemingly out of shape, but he is a student of the MMA game and always exciting. His grappling credentials are never to be questioned – he is an instructor and Renzo Gracie black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with insanely heavy hands that have delivered three Knockout of the Night bonuses and a chin made of granite. A formula for MMA popularity if there ever was one, UFC president Dana White realized the 36-year-old Las Vegas resident is ratings gold and cast him as a coach opposite fellow heavyweight contender Shane Carwin in TUF 16. However, Carwin ended up getting injured and has been replaced by Matt Mitrione in the TUF 16 Finale. UFC Heavyweight Contender Matt Mitrione (+160) Profile: “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-1) has been a fan favorite since debuting on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights. It wasn’t until he decimated Kimbo Slice at UFC 113 that he became a sort of household name. He followed that eye-opening win with three more victories, starting his career with an impressive 5-0 mark and rapidly getting better. Then, at UFC 137, Mitrione would face his biggest test yet in Cheick Kongo. Through 15 minutes, Mitrione was put on his back by the Frenchman and dominated. It was his first loss, and he reacted by taking a year off to hone his skills with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee. He meets Roy Nelson next on short notice at the TUF 16 Finale after Carwin pulled out due to injury. Opening TUF 16 Finale Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Nelson a solid -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) against Mitrione, who opened as a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160) according to the MMA odds. The curse of the TUF coaches continued this season when Carwin had to bow out after hurting his knee. Five of the past seven main event bouts featuring them have now failed to materialize because of injuries outside of Friday’s TUF Smashes matchup between Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos. Viewers of Season 16 saw a distinct difference in coaching styles between Carwin and Nelson, who did not seem to train his fighters hard and also showed that staying in shape and winning competitions are not priorities for him. What we do know is that Nelson can fight, and he continues to go against the grain to register wins in the UFC whether you like him or not. Carwin clearly did not like Nelson, and that made their matchup all the more intriguing. Mitrione has an equally quirky personality and should be relishing the opportunity to fight another heavyweight of Nelson’s caliber. He is probably best known as a former NFL player who crushed Slice but also earned Fight of the Night honors at UFC 119 in winning a unanimous decision against Joey Beltran. An even better performance will be needed by him here in order to pull off the upset.