On Saturday, December 5, 2009 The Ultimate Fighter 10 – The Heavyweights concludes with The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale live from the Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. TUF 10 featured 16 heavyweight fighters. This was the first time in ten seasons that the show featured an entire heavyweight cast. The 16 fighters were then split up between former UFC light-heavyweight champions Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans.
This season of TUF broke plenty of ratings records due to the fact that it also included the enigmatic Internet fighting sensation turned MMA prospect Kimbo Slice, former IFL heavyweight champion Roy "Big Country" Nelson, as well as three UFC veterans and four former NFL football players. Jackson and Evans were originally schedules to face each other in a light-heavyweight bout at UFC 107 on December 12, 2009 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. However, Jackson pulled out of the fight earlier this fall due to a movie role he secured in the upcoming A-Team movie. The main card of the TUF 10 Finale will be televised on Spike at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.
The heavyweight finale of TUF 10 will feature the first and only IFL champion Roy "Big Country" Nelson who will be looking to break into the UFC after fighting in various organizations since 2004. Nelson is a black belt in jiu-jitsu and an ADCC veteran, who has also competed at the highest level of submission grappling. Some of his submission grappling matches include wins over two-time ADCC champion Jeff Monson, as well as UFC stars Frank Mir, Brandon Vera, and Diego Sanchez who he beat in one day during a grappling tournament 6 years ago. Nelson will face Brandon Schaub who has finished all four of his opponents in MMA since making his debut in 2008. Before then, he was a start football player for the University of Colorado. He later played professional football for the Utah Blaze of the AFL and the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. On TUF 10, Nelson defeated Kimbo Slice, Justin Wren, and James McSweeney to reach the finale, while Schaub scored wins over Demico Rogers, Jon Madsen, and Marcus Jones.
The featured bout at the TUF 10 Finale will be a bout between two of the fastest rising stars in the UFC light-heavyweight division, as Matt Hamill who is star from the third season of TUF squares off with Jon Jones, who is undefeated in his young MMA career. Hamill and Jones, who are both decorated amateur wrestlers, could possibly engage in a top contender for both "Fight of the Night" and "KO of the Night" as both fighters have shown plenty of aggression and explosiveness in their previous UFC bouts. The winner of this bout will put them self in the upper echelon of the division.
The main card will also feature a special 215-pound catchweight bout between TUF 10 cast member Kimbo Slice and the heavy-handed Nebraska native Houston Alexander. Kimbo Slice exploded onto the MMA radar in 2007 due to the legendary street fighting status he attained via YouTube. Once the poster boy of the now defunct EliteXC organization, he was quick to jump at UFC president Dana White’s offer to join the cast of TUF 10 to prove he is a legit fighter. Similarly, Alexander also made a name for himself in MMA in 2007 with two quick upset KO victories in the UFC over the likes of Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara. These two big punchers will be looking to win "KO of the Night" honors in one of the most anticipated fights of the night.
In the lightweight division, top contender and New Jersey native Frankie Edgar returns to the Octagon after his impressive performance at UFC 98, where he knocked off former lightweight champion Sean Sherk. Edgar will look to continue his push into title contention as he takes on the tough undefeated prospect Matt Veach, who trains out of Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad in Granite City, Illinois. Veach is returning to the UFC for the first time in ten months, after winning his debut with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 17.
The final bout on the main card will pit two former NFL players and fellow TUF 10 cast members Marcus Jones and Matt Mitrione against each other in a grudge match. Jones became infuriated on the show, when Mitrione had accidentally eye-poked his friend Scott Junk during their fight on the show. The injury resulted in Junk needing eye surgery that threatened his career. It was later determined by doctors that Junk could fight again, but Mitrione will be looking to settle the score for being unfairly blamed for the accidental eye-poke. Even though Jones and Mitrione both played in the NFL, their styles of fighting are night and day. Mitrione loves to punch and has a lot of power in his hands, while his submission defense was questionable on the show. Meanwhile, Jones has shown very good submission skills and a suspect chin.
-Roy Nelson vs. Brendan Schaub (TUF 10 Heavyweight Finale Bout)
-Matt Hamill vs. Jon Jones (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
-Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander (215-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Veach (Lightweight Bout)
-Marcus Jones vs. Matt Mitrione (Heavyweight Bout)
-Darrill Schoonover vs. James McSweeney (Heavyweight Bout)
-Jon Madsen vs. Justin Wren (Heavyweight Bout)
-Brian Stann vs. Rodney Wallace (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
-John Howard vs. Dennis Hallman (Welterweight Bout)
-Mark Bocek vs. Joe Brammer (Lightweight Bout)