Just 24 hours after announcing the Shane Carwin blew out his knee and had to withdraw from his Ultimate Fighter Finale headlining bout with Roy Nelson, UFC officials have a new foe in place for Nelson.
The TUF 16 head coach will now square off with a former castmate of his from when he was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights, Matt Mitrione.
Carwin and Nelson coached opposite each other during the TUF 16 season, while Nelson and Mitrione were actually on the same Team Rashad Evans during the TUF 10 season.
Nelson (17-7), in his most recent action, is coming off of a victory over Dave Herman at UFC 146. That victory put him above the .500 mark during his UFC tenure, advancing his record to 4-3 in Octagon.
Mitrione (5-1), meanwhile, hasn’t fought in more than a year. His last bout was a loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 137 in October 2011.
He was already slated to square off with Phil DeFries at UFC 155 on Dec. 29, but answered the call when the UFC needed a new main event for the TUF 16 Finale. DeFries is awaiting a new opponent, but is expected to remain on the UFC 155 fight card.
Mitrione, a former professional football player, has spent his entire professional MMA career in the Octagon, winning his first five bouts prior to the Kongo loss.
The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale is slated for Dec. 15 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
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