The UFC is set to start their 16th season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and the lineups and weight classes are due to be announced shortly. We do know that the coaches will be heavyweights Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, and we know the finale is on December 1st in Las Vegas. The outcome of the fight between the two coaches will move the winner back into the top rung of heavyweights.
Of course, hanging like a shadow over the entire division is the fate of Alistair Overeem. Overeem, on suspension for steroid use until December, had a title shot cancelled, and even a win for Nelson or Carwin is unlikely to unseat him as the top contender in the heavyweight division.
And the match between Nelson and Carwin will require close watching of TUF 16, because there are a lot of open questions that need to be answered before you can try to set odds for the fight.
Carwin is coming off a back surgery, and he is on the plus side of 35 years old. Carwin is really is going to have to be scrutinized closely for any lowering of his speed and strength after the surgery.
Nelson I think suffers from a different bugaboo. Is he lackadaisical? He lives in Las Vegas, where the taping will occur, and he has steady work with a fight at the end of it for the next few months. What I worry about most with Nelson is ego, and his potential desire to ham it up on the TUF series and not be serious.
When Carwin was in the mix for the title, I would have taken him in this fight, because I think he would have roughed up Nelson early and then won a slower paced encounter.
That match ‘blueprint’ could still happen, and is likely, however what the match is really all about is to find out if either man has one more run t the top. They may both be washed up….