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The Ultimate Fighter’ 16 finale weigh-in: Mitrione, Nelson relaxed and ready

12 fights on tap for Las Vegas’ first UFC event since July

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Roy Nelson, left, and Matt Mitrione face off during weigh-ins for the Season 16 finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

'The Ultimate Fighter 16' Weigh-In

Roy Nelson, left, and Matt Mitrione face off during weigh-ins for the Season 16 finale of Launch slideshow »

The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale

  • When: Saturday Dec. 15, 3-9 p.m.
  • Where: The Joint at Hard Rock
  • How to watch: Preliminary bouts on Facebook at 2:30, preliminary bouts on FUEL TV at 4, main card on FX at 6
  • Tickets: $100-$250 remaining Ticketmaster
  • Main card bouts: Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione; Colton Smith vs. Mike Ricci; Pat Barry vs. Shane del Rosario; Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner; Dustin Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins
Click to enlarge photo

Timothy Elliot backs away from Jared Papazian while they face off during weigh-ins for the Season 16 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

All 24 fighters set to battle Saturday night at the Hard Rock made weight and kept cordial at Friday’s weigh-in.

“The Ultimate Fighter” 16 finale weigh-in was uneventful, just the way UFC officials prefer it. They’d gotten their fill of weigh-in suspense last week, when several fighters initially came in over their limit before UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle.

No one even required a second attempt on the scale Friday. Headliner Matt Mitrione (252) didn’t bother taking off his jeans and belt like everyone else, prancing straight from backstage to the scale.

Mitrione, who weighed as much as 300 pounds during his three years as a defensive lineman in the NFL, was more than the 265-pound heavyweight limit a month ago. Without a fight scheduled, the former Minnesota Viking and New York Giant was out of intense training.

But Mitrione offered to step in on late notice to face Roy Nelson (252) after “Big Country’s” original opponent, Shane Carwin, went down with a knee injury. Mitrione easily shed the pounds from there.

Neither Colton Smith nor Mike Ricci, the two welterweight finalists for “The Ultimate Fighter” championship, encountered any problems making the 171-pound limit. Smith and Ricci are small for their weight class and both said they would consider a drop to lightweight after Saturday’s fight for a guaranteed $100,000 UFC contract.

History will be made with whoever prevails. Smith would become the first active-duty military member to ever sign with the UFC. Ricci could be the first Canadian to win “TUF”.

Ricci hails from Montreal where he trains at one of the sport’s premier gyms, Tristar. Renowned trainer Firas Zahabi accompanied Ricci onstage at the weigh-in.

Likewise, Strikeforce middleweight and Army staff sergeant Tim Kennedy accompanied Smith.

UFC President Dana White only had to separate two fighters during their stare down photo. Jared Papazian (126) glared at Tim Elliott (126) as he pressed his face into the fellow flyweight.

White stepped in between the two and they backed away without shaking hands, unlike all the other opponents on the card.

Check below for full results from “The Ultimate Fighter” 16 weigh-in.

Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson (252) vs. Matt Mitrione (257)

Welterweight bout: Colton Smith (170) vs. Mike Ricci (171)

Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry (238) vs. Shane del Rosario (244)

Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard (156) vs. Jamie Varner (156)

Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier (146) vs. Jonathan Brookins (146)

Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle (171) vs. James Head (171)

Bantamweight bout: Johnny Bedford (136) vs. Marcos Vinicius (136)

Lightweight bout: Vinc Pichel (156) vs. Rustam Khabilov (155)

Welterweight bout: T.J. Waldburger (170) vs. Nick Catone (171)

Bantamweight bout: Reuben Duran (136) vs. Hugo Viana (135)

Lightweight bout: Mike Rio (156) vs. John Cofer (156)

Flyweight bout: Jared Papazian (126) vs. Tim Elliott (126)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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