The Ultimate Fighter 16 finals on Dec. 15 have twelve fights scheduled:
Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson
"TUF 16" tournament final
Pat Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario
Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner
James Head vs. Mike Pyle
Jonathan Brookins vs. Dustin Poirier
Nick Catone vs. T.J. Waldburger
Rustam Khabilov vs. Vinc Pichel
Reuben Duran vs. Hugo Viana
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius
Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian
John Cofer vs. Mike Rio
Twelve fights is a full card. Barring injuries, at most one more fight will be added. Notably conspicuous by the absence is fighters from TUF 16 itself.
With a deep welterweight roster, the possibilty of Strikeforce fighters being folded in, and a dearth of potential title contenders (flyweight John Dodson from season 14 excepting, it has been years since TUF spawned a contender), few TUF 16 fighters are going to reach the big show.
If you thought Matt Secor, Eddy Ellis and/or Nic Herron-Webb got screwed on decisions over the past three weeks, but figured it's not that bad because they'll get another shot, that is not likely to happen.
In the past, The Ultimate Fighter finals would consist of a few fights involving established UFC fighters, but the bulk of the fights (usually seven or eight) would involve people from the reality show, usually matched up against each other. As a general rule, the winner of all those fights would become a UFC regular. Generally, the losers wouldn't be signed, unless they looked impressive. Even those injured during the season and unable to compete in the finals were usually given one more shot to make it on a later show.
The tournament winner is a lock to get in based on the premise of the show. The loser of the championship fight, if they put on an exciting fight in what will be a featured match on television, would also have a good shot. From there, the odds are not good for anyone to even get a shot, let alone get in.
Given the number of fighters from the past few seasons who have not been able to break through and become major stars, the decision makes sense. But it makes those weekly controversial judging decisions this season that much worse for the losers.
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