The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale: December 15, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Lightweight Contender Jamie Varner (-140) Profile: A UFC vet and the former WEC lightweight champ, Jamie Varner (20-7-1, 2 NC) was cut by the WEC following an 0-3-1 run as the organization closed its doors in late 2010. Looking to fight his way back into the UFC’s newly bolstered ranks, the 27-year-old Arizona native went on a tear through the independent circuit that saw him take home three wins in less than three minutes total with one speed-bump loss coming against TUF hopeful Dakota Cochrane. Then, in early May, the UFC called Varner back to fill in for an injured Evan Dunham to take on undefeated Edson Barboza at UFC 146. In his first appearance since UFC 68 and on short notice, Varner did the unthinkable and scored a TKO victory against Barboza in the first round for a huge upset. He is coming off a loss and looking to rebound yet again. UFC Lightweight Contender Melvin Guillard (+110) Profile: After winning five in a row from 2009 to 2011, Melvin Guillard (30-11-2, 1 NC) lost via rear-naked choke to both Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller in the first half of the first round before rebounding with a unanimous decision victory against Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148. “The Young Assassin” has every resource in the MMA world available to him for training, and aside from his questionable ground game, he has the potential to defeat almost any lightweight on any given night. UFC bettors know what the 29-year-old MMA veteran is capable of at this level, but his discipline remains questionable, as he constantly looks to knock out anyone who stands in his way yet has proven he is susceptible to submissions. Opening TUF 16 Finale Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Varner a small -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) against Guillard, who opened as a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110) according to the MMA odds. Guillard is riding through a tough skid in his career and desperately needs a victory here to show he still belongs in the UFC. He has dropped three of his last four bouts, but all three losses came against Top 15 UFC lightweight contenders in Lauzon, Miller and most recently Donald Cerrone. Varner knows what it’s like to get cut from a Zuffa-run organization as he was previously released by the WEC and has tried to make the most of his second run in the UFC. He parlayed his underdog win over Barboza into a fight with Lauzon but after losing to him we do not know if the former was more of a fluke. It’s fitting that this fight is on the TUF 16 Finale card because both men have something to prove.