A battle between a pair of heavyweights has been added to the slate for the TUF 16 Finale.
Pat Barry (7-5 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Shane Del Rosario (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) are targeted for a meeting in December. Sources with knowledge of the fight booking on Tuesday confirmed the matchup to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale takes place Dec. 15 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a main event between TUF 16 coaches Shane Carwin (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Roy Nelson (17-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC).
In addition, of course, the TUF 16 Finale will include the welterweight finals of this season's show, which currently airs on Friday nights on FX. Barry is one of Carwin's assistant coaches on the show.
Barry finds himself in fairly critical need of a victory. The popular heavyweight is just 1-3 in his past four fights. In May, Barry suffered a first-round TKO loss to Lavar Johnson at UFC on FOX 3. That fight was a trip back to the loss column after a January "Fight of the Night" knockout win over Christian Morecraft at UFC on FX 1.
But prior to that victory, Barry lost consecutive fights to Cheick Kongo by knockout and Stefan Struve by submission. In the former, Barry nearly had Kongo finished, but the big man, despite being out on his feet, survived and stunned Barry with a knockout punch in one of the most talked-about comebacks in MMA history.
Del Rosario in May made his UFC debut, but suffered a second-round TKO stoppage against Stipe Miocic on the promotion's all-heavyweight main card at UFC 146. That was Del Rosario's first fight under the UFC banner after going 3-0 with three first-round stoppages for Strikeforce.
For those of you out there that aren't big fans of the ground game, this match should please you. I would say it's almost a must win for both guys. Pretty certain that someone is getting knocked out in this one. Shane is more likely the more skilled grappler if it does hit the ground, but Barry has been improving.