The Ultimate Fighter 16 Live Finale media conference call highlights


The UFC held a┬ámedia conference call today for The Ultimate Fighter 16 Live Finale for “Nelson vs. Mitrione,” which will take place this Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On the call were coach Roy Nelson and his opponent Matt Mitrione, as well as finalists Mike Ricci and Colton Smith.

Check out the highlights below thanks to

Roy Nelson

  • I asked Matt and it’s either yes or no. So far it’s 0 for 2 with the testing.
  • The UFC is a great marketing machine. They’re just waiting for the DVD where they can say Roy has five Ultimate Fighter winners and champions and Royce Gracie and stuff to get people to buy the DVD.
  • The biggest thing we switched up was Shane and Matt are two different fighters. One’s a southpaw and one’s orthodox. Matt actually asked for this fight so it’s more personal.
  • The difference between coaching and competing is you have one goal, to win. As a coach, you’re trying to get eight guys to win and it’s up to them with who wants it more. Before, you only have to depend on yourself. Bringing coaches and stuff like that, I wanted to bring Mo Lawal in and Chael and a couple other ones that had scheduling conflicts.
  • I figured Shane would pull out of the fight. This isn’t the first time he’s done it. I just didn’t know when or where it would happen. One guy’s a southpaw, one guy’s orthodox. I can get a better camp than Shane Carwin and I think I’m getting a light version of Alistair Overeem with Matt Mitrione.

Matt Mitrione

  • Roy asked me, he tweeted it the day he sent it, probably a week and a half ago, 10 days ago. I had a bunch of other things going on and felt it was a distraction and didn’t want to deal with it. I’m not opposed to it. I was so invested in this fight that I turned my twitter off. I didn’t want to deal with distraction. I was training for a five round fight and wanted to make sure I didn’t have any distractions.

Mike Ricci

  • It’s not the first time I’ve had my country on my back but this time, I’ll make the outcome different.
  • It’s great being closer to Rory. Being friends with him, we’re able to sit back and discuss our opinions on training and having Georges and Firas to guide us, we’re being put on the right path and being taken care of.
  • I think The Ultimate Fighter is a great format. You get to fight so frequently. I knew it was gonna happen going into it and I would miss home and being taken out of my element.
  • I understand they can’t show everything since it’s two months of filming but they didn’t portray things exactly as the way they were.
  • Coming out of the house I had a bit of a social shock. I had a large circle of friends and coming back to the city took some adjusting. I was used to a hostile situation where I was constantly sizing people up and bracing to fight on one day’s notice. People being nice to you and showing affection again took some getting used to. I had some readjusting to do and after that, things went back to normal.
  • I didn’t like the experience regardless, win or lose. Winning and having the outcome I had made it easier to cope with. I feel like I at least gained something for when I went through. I have been vocal about not enjoying my experience there and I stand by that. I didn’t enjoy it one bit.
  • That’s the beauty of TUF. You get to watch your opponent fight live and if you made it to the finale, you see your opponent fight four times. I don’t think he lost a round and I haven’t taken him lightly. I know he’s a good fighter and I know what I have to do to prepare for Saturday.
  • When I left the house, it was a decision I had to make whether or not to put on weight or go back down to 155. I decided I like the way I feel walking around at 178 but I’ll go back down to lightweight once this is all over.
  • We didn’t really bring anybody in. We had Nate Marquardt, Lester Bowling, Pat Barry and Trevor Wittman and all those guys were giving us great advice throughout the show. I learned a lot more than I expected coming from the camp I come from with the training partners I have. I learned a lot.

Colton Smith

  • I caught some flack for the decision to shoot for a takedown during the glove tap in my first fight on the show.
  • It was a great experience. Roy brought in so many unbelievable coaches, Rashad Evans, the scrap pack, Royce Gracie and guys my size who have made it to the top. It was a great thing. Nothing negative should ever come from being on The Ultimate Fighter unless you get kicked out or act a fool.
  • The way they portray certain people on the show. They showed some guys too much and not enough. They didn’t show enough training on both sides. Team Carwin had a really structured schedule and I was anxious to see their side but I didn’t get to see it.
  • I helped Tim Kennedy prepare for a fight and I spent time with my family, my wife and kids. I got back to training with Tim and Andrew Craig and they helped me evolve as a fighter. It was kind of a shock, people contacting you and coming out of the woodworks. Dana sat us down and told us to remember who our friends and family were and keep them. I’ve been staying really level headed and nothing really changed in my life. I’m just training harder and training with better people.
  • The scrap pack and Rashad Evans helped me a lot with my game. Jake Shields has a very pressure oriented game. That’s something I want to emulate. As far as Rashad Evans goes, I was very impressed with his coaching abilities. That was an eye opener for me and something to put in my toolbag.

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Jeremy Brand started up this lovechild called back in 2009. It began as a hobby project and has turned into much more. In his spare time, you can find Jeremy on the mats, as he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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