Four men walked away from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 finale with an additional $40,000 on Saturday night, as Tim Elliott, Jared Papazian, T.J. Waldburger and Pat Barry were all awarded post-fight bonuses.
Elliott and Papazian were handed “Fight of the Night” honors for their exciting, three-round flyweight affair, while Waldburger and Barry (Pictured, file photo) earned “Submission of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” for their respective finishes of Nick Catone and Shane del Rosario.
Headlined by a heavyweight collision pitting Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione, the “TUF 16” finale took place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Highlighted by Nelson’s first-round knockout of his onetime “TUF 10” cast mate, the evening’s main draw aired live on the FX network and Fuel TV carried the prelims.
After putting forth a valiant but ultimately futile effort against John Dodson in his Octagon debut, Elliott overcame some early adversity in his sophomore UFC appearance to outpoint the game Papazian. Though he suffered an illegal knee strike to the head, Elliott managed to battle back, flooring Papazian after his recovery in round one before dominating his foe in the third frame to take the judges’ nod.
Later on the undercard, Waldburger stuck Catone with a hard right hand that put him on the mat early in round two. Following his wounded prey to the floor, the Texan searched for an arm-in guillotine but quickly switched to a triangle, gradually cinching the choke and putting Catone to sleep just 64 seconds into the second frame.
Barry’s punching power guided him to victory in his heavyweight encounter, as “HD” caught del Rosario with a stinging overhand left to start the second period. Though del Rosario attempted to create distance, Barry pursued furiously, landing a concussive three punch combination that turned out his foe’s lights at the 26-second mark of round two.