This is the TUF 16 undercard live blog for the Mitrione vs. Nelson event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
There will be seven fights on the undercard. Mike Pyle vs. James Head, Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius, Vinc Pichel vs. Rustam Khabilov, TJ Waldburger vs. Nick Catone, Reuben Duran vs. Hugo Viana, Mike Rio vs. John Cofer, and Jared Papazian vs. Tim Elliott will be featured on the prelims.
Check out the TUF 16 undercard live blog below.
Round 1: Chris Tognoni is the referee in charge. Elliot immediately drags Papazian to the mat and seizes a guillotine. Papazian works out of it and lands a crushing head kick on the way out. Elliot tosses Papazian back to the ground and jumps into his guard. Elliot staying busy, transitions to half guard before being reversed looking for a guillotine. Papazian on top but Elliot has this one in tight. Papazian stays patient and escapes. Elliot gets crushed by an illegal knee in the ensuing scramble. Whoa, that one looked bad. Tognoni stops the action and Elliot is on wobbly legs. This one may be stopped. Elliot looks to be in bad shape. Nonetheless, he says he wants to continue. Wow, Elliot comes out on fire and blasts Papazian with a straight left. Papazian drops and Elliot leaps on top. Elliot nearly gets mount and starts raining down blows. Papazian escapes out the back and lands a big knee to the solar plexus. Papazian tosses out a combination before pressuring Elliot up against the fence. Papazian working a little dirty boxing. Elliot ducks under a jumping kick as the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Elliot.
Round 2: Elliot still doesn't look 100-percent. Papazian blocks a head kick. Elliot pushes forward, pumping his jab. Elliot ducks under and grabs a single, working Papazian to the ground and landing in side control. Papazian's nose is gushing blood. Elliot briefly looks for another guillotine attempt but can't get it. Papazian throws out another combination, only to be dragged back to the mat. He quickly stands and continues to push forward. Lead uppercut finds its mark for Papazian, followed by a jumping knee. Elliot just misses with a head kick. Elliot changes levels and shoots in but Papazian defends. Elliot relentless with his takedowns, muscles Papazian back to the mat at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Elliot.
Round 3: Elliot comes out aggressive, looking for a power double. Papazian defends and winds up on top. Elliot hunting for a foot lock. We reach a stalemate and the referee stands the fight back up. Elliot crushes Papazian with a straight punch. Papazian drops and Elliot swarms. A bloodied Papazian gives up his back. Elliot softening Papazian with punches before looking for a choke. Papazian escapes but quickly gives up his back again. Elliot still looking for a choke. Papazian finds a bit of separation and muscles his way up. Papazian comes out desperate, winging wild punches. Elliot ducks under and takes this fight back to the mat, once again seizing Papazian's back. Dominating round for Elliot. MMA Fighting scores it 10-8 for Elliot.
Tim Elliot def. Jared Papazian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Round 1: Kim Winslow is our referee. Cofer opens with a leg kick, followed a combination that lands flush. Rio defends a takedown and muscles Cofer against the fence. The fight retakes the center of the cage. Cofer connects with a leg kick. Rio eats a big left hand, and another. Rio is on wobbly legs. Cofer rushes in and ties up, only to be reversed. Rio releases. He seems to have recovered. Cofer steps out of the way of a head kick. Rio changes level, grabs a single and drags Cofer to the mat. Cofer attacks a leg and uses the threat of submission to reverse into top position. Rio attacking with short elbows from the bottom. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Cofer.
Round 2: Rio connects with an inside leg kick. Cofer eats a stiff counter on the way in. Cofer finds a home for a straight left, but Rio answers by rushing in and slamming Cofer to the mat. Cofer catches Rio with an upkick. Winslow stands the fight back up. Cofer continues to find success with his straight left. Rio looks for a trip but ultimately finds his back pressed against the fence. Rio reverses, muscling Cofer to the floor and landing in mount. Cofer squirms and stands, carrying Rio like a backpack. Cofer shakes Rio off and jumps into half guard. Cofer unleashes a few short elbows. Rio explodes and stands. Cofer ties up at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Cofer.
Round 3: Cofer pawing out his right hand, eats a hard shot for his troubles. Rio closes the distance and slams Cofer to the mat. Cofer works back to guard, but Rio quickly passes to side control. Rio rains down a few elbows on Cofer's body. Rio hunting for a kimura on Cofer's right arm. Cofer explodes out, Rio transitions into an armbar from the bottom. He doesn't have it. Cofer easily escapes. Rio throws his hips up and tries again for the armbar. He might get it this time. Rio tightens up and this one is over. Cofer taps. Good comeback victory for Rio.
Mike Rio def. John Cofer via submission (armbar) at 4:11 of round 3.
Round 1: Referee Steve Mazzagatti oversees the action. Viana ducks under a shot and connects with a hard overhand right. Viana wades in with a flurry and Duran drops! Viana relentless, lands another big right hand. Duran gamely staying in there, but Viana is dominant so far. Duran changing strategies, closes the distance and locks up against the fence. Viana reverses and releases out to the center of the cage. Viana pushes forward, pumping his jab. Viana slips a punch and misses with a wild flurry. Another huge overhand right crushes Duran. He drops and Viana swarms. Somehow Duran finds his way back to his feet, only to be blasted once again. Duran crumples on cage floor and Mazzagatti mercifully jumps in.
Hugo Viana def. Reuben Duran via knockout (punch) at 4:05 of round 1.
T.J. Waldburger vs. Nick Catone
Round 1: Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. Waldburger ties up and trades knees inside the clinch. Catone nearly lands a looping right on the way out. Waldburger drops for a double. Catone defends, but gives up his back in the process. Catone scrambles. Waldburger looks for a trip and muscles Catone against the fence. Catone flips Waldburger to the mat and drops a few short elbows. Waldburger stands, Catone seizes his back. Waldburger drops down, hunting for a kimura. Catone escapes and stands, before lunging in with a right hand. Waldburger retakes his feet, looks for a double and gets it. Catone reverses and takes Waldburger's back. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Catone.
Round 2: Waldburger blocks a high kick. Waldburger charges forward and drops Catone with a straight punch. Catone is in trouble. Waldburger swarms, seizing a guillotine before transitioning into a triangle. This one is deep. Waldburger tightens up and unloads a few short elbows for good measure. Wow, Catone is asleep. Incredible finish. Herb Dean calls the fight.
T.J. Waldburger def. Nick Catone via submission (triangle) at 1:04 of round 2.
Round 1: Our referee in charge is Chris Tognoni. Khabilov storms forward, ties up and trips Pichel to the mat, landing in half guard. Pichel scrambles and stands, only to be suplexed back down. Pichel stands again, and promptly gets suplexed once more. And again. And again. Wow. Khabilov unloads a flurry of left hands. Pichel is out. Now that was something.
Rustam Khabilov def. Vinc Pichel via TKO (suplex and punches) at 2:15 of round 1.
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius
Round 1: Kim Winslow is our referee. Bedford connects with an early three-punch combination. Bedford tosses out a leg kick, defends a takedown and slams Vinicius to the ground. Vinicius clutching a guillotine attempt. Bedford escapes and looks to pass Vinicius' guard. Bedford advances to side control. Vinicius scrambles back into guard. Bedford stands. Bedford pumps his jab, Vinicius answers with a right hand. Bedford lands a one-two to the jaw. Vinicius crumbles from a straight right. Bedford swarms, jumping into side control. Bedford looking to pin Vinicius' left arm. Vinicius finds some separation and stands. Bedford muscles the fight against the cage wall. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Bedford.
Round 2: Vinicius launches a kick straight into Bedford's groin. That one looked bad. Bedford takes some time to regain his faculties and we're back. Vinicius just misses a spinning back kick. A huge right hand floors Vinicius. Bedford unloads a flurry, including a kick to the midsection that nearly looked illegal. It's a legal shot though, and this one is over. Decisive finish for Bedford.
Johnny Bedford def. Marcos Vinicius via TKO (punches and kick to the body) at 1:00 of round 2.
Round 1: Referee Steve Mazzagatti oversees the action. Pyle blocks a left hook. Head closes the distance and finds a home for a short punch. Head briefly stumbles Pyle with a straight shot but can't capitalize. Pyle grasps for the clinch. Head unloads a few hard shots to the body. Pyle blasts Head with a knee to the face and Head plummets to the mat. Pyle unleashes a final salvo and Mazzagatti jumps in. Impressive stuff from Pyle.
Mike Pyle def. James Head via TKO (standing knee and strikes) at 1:55 of round 1.