Well, TUF 16 is in the books, and while the best thing about the season wasn’t a fight or a fighter or even the coaches battle which was derailed by Shane Carwin’s decrepit body, but a line that will live in infamy – “Let me bang, bro,” the finale was downright pimp. On a card that featured 11 fights, there were three submissions, six KOs, only two decisions, and one of them (Tim Elliot vs Jared Papazoan) won Fight of the Night. The other bonus winners were Pat Barry for his sick knockout over Shave del Rosario, and TJ Waldburger for his triangle over Nick Catone. Those guys all took home $40,000 in addition to their fight purses, and there’s nothing about 40k that sucks right before the holidays. But there are others equally deserving of some praise, however wiseass and abusive it may be.
Best Mullet: Mike Pyle. Pyle is always spoken of when the ever-important topic of mullets arises, but his is actually getting better with age. You see, with a mullet it’s not necessarily about size. The shock factor shouldn’t be the top priority. Symmetry should. And Pyle has perfected that area of his mullet. The bangs come just far enough over the forehead, while the back locks drape perfectly down the neck, not too far, but just right. And the buzzed area on the sides is a thing to beholden.
Biggest Robbery of the Night: Rustam Khabilov. Don’t get me wrong, Barry’s KO was nice. But Khabilov’s suplex knockout of Vinc Pichel was a thing of sadistic beauty. In what sad world do we live in where a run-of-the-mill punch KO trumps a rare, downright awesome suplex KO. This some shameful shit.
Most Undeserved Hot-Ass Wife: Colton Smith. If you take a good look at Colton, he kinda resembles an in-shape version of Sloth. His one ear is a tad limp, and his eyes aren’t exactly balanced. The fineness of his wife though makes one wonder how he pulled that off. Sure, NOW he’s the Ultimate Fighter. But when he landed that he was just some Army guy who could beat dudes down. Being a badass has its rewards, I suppose.
Worst Technical Striking: Jonathan Brookins. Starting off strong by rocking Dustin Poirier, I thought maybe Brookins had finally corrected his hands-down/chin-up style of striking. But once the exchanges got a little heated, he went right back to those piss-poor fundamentals that have helped him compile a 1-3 record in his last four fights. Sure, he didn’t get knocked out, but he got rocked enough to set up that sweet d’arce choke.
Luckiest to Get a Bonus: Jared Papazian. Fight of the Night is, at least in theory, supposed to go not only to the most entertaining fight, but the most competitive one as well. Was Jared’s fight with Tim Elliot fun to watch? Hell yes. Was it competitive? If you define that word to mean getting utterly dominated by your opponent, then yes, I guess you could say it was competitive. But when only one judge sees fit to give you a 30-26, and that’s the best scorecard you got, I’m not so sure competitiveness factored into the equation.
Worst Referee Moment: Steve Mazzagatti. Look, I’m not usually one to jump on the “Mazzagatti Blows” bandwagon. I know Dana White despises him as the worst ref in the game, and the cause of all the world’s ills, but I usually tend to think Mazzagatti gets an unfair rap. Being a ref isn’t easy. You get blamed for all that goes bad, and get no credit (unless you’re Herb Dean) when things go well. But Colton Smith kicked Mike Ricci square in the nuts with Mazzagatti looking directly at it, and he told them to fight on. Not Steve’s finest moment.
Best Gaza Strip Bombing Look: Vinc Pichel. Getting suplexed sucks. As a child, I got suplexed by a bigger, older kid in the schoolyard, and I was pretty sure I had broken my neck, back, and spleen. To this day, I attribute an occasional weird click in my shoulder to that harrowing experience. Pichel got launched onto his head not once, not twice, but three times by Rustam Khabilov. There was simply nothing he could do to stop the horror. When it was all over, Pichel lay there with a mixed look of concussion and “What the fuck just happened” on his face.
Best Fun Bags: Roy Nelson. Sure, Arianny’s pillows are fluffy, and I’m quite certain they’d be fun to play with. Brittany’s as well. But for sheer girth, they aint got shit on ole Roy.