With cast announced, 'The Ultimate Fighter 17' could prove volatile
More than two dozen middleweight fighters have been selected for the upcoming 17th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and one of them is apparently capable of reducing his opponents to nervous breakdowns.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials revealed to USA TODAY Sports the 28 fighters who will compete on the latest edition of the promotion's long-running reality series, which debuts Jan. 22 (FX, 8 p.m. ET).
Now fight fans will inevitably try to determine which fighter UFC President Dana White recently said struck fear in the hearts of his opponents during filming of the tournament-based competition.
"The whole house is terrified of this guy. Everybody," White said. "I picked this fight, and this guy is lined up with the guy I'm telling you about, and the guy has a nervous breakdown in the house over the weekend.
"This guy scared the living s--- out of everyone. It's awesome."
The Ultimate Fighter 17: "The whole house is terrified of this guy."
"I know you guys are going to call bulls**t on me and all that," White said. "[But] This next season is so awesome and so badass. We have a guy on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, every fight he's in, someone goes to the hospital.
"The whole house is terrified of this guy. F***ing terrified. Everybody.
"I picked this fight, and this guy is lined up with the guy I'm telling you about, and the guy has a nervous breakdown in the house over the weekend. Has a f***ing nervous breakdown. Freaks out and has a nervous breakdown.
"This guy scared the living s**t out of everyone. It's awesome."
'TUF: Smashes' finalist Colin Fletcher: I am 'Freakshow'
Here are a few things you might not know about Colin Fletcher. Things you might not absorb if, you know, you're distracted by his exterior.
It wouldn't be the first time it happened to him.
The man nicknamed "Freakshow" did most of his growing up while spinning records as a DJ. He got his start at a nightclub his father owned. He toured all over Britain spinning "funky house" and trance...
Dana White confirms Ultimate Fighter's return to Wednesdays in 2013
The 17th season of Ultimate Fighter, which is currently being filmed in Las Vegas with Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches, is expected to air on Wednesday nights, starting in January on FX.
The show moving to a better night was announced by FX Executive Vice President Chuck Safler back in October. Malki Kawa, the manager of Jones, said the move would be to Wednesday in an interview with The Fight Network. Subsequently, MMAFighting.com confirmed the new date with Dana White.
In doing so, the show is moving back to the night it ran on Spike for many years. The show moved to Fridays at the start of 2012, with the move from Spike TV to FX. Even though moving to a significantly higher rated network, and having the fights air live for the first time in the show's history, ratings fell to the lowest level in the show's history.
TUF ‘The Smashes’ Episode 8 Recap: The Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen Has Happened
TUF The Smashes Episode 8 opened with both teams coming together for the announcement of the final preliminary fight, which is between lightweights Grant Blackler (AUS) vs. Mike Wilkinson (UK).
With one of the UK welterweights getting a second chance after Manny Rodriguez’s injury, training was ramped up for the eliminated welterweights in case they got the call.
One of the UK training staff decided to walk in on an Australian training session and coach George Sotiropoulos wasn’t impressed, ordering the UK coach to leave. UK head coach Ross Pearson also came in as they looked for their training book and Sotiropoulos went toe-to-toe with his next opponent.
“I’m not scared of George,” Pearson said. “If he spoke to me like that on the street, I would have knocked him out.”
The teams came together once again, but there was yet another twist. Sotiropoulos revealed that Australia’s new teammate, James Vainikolo, would in fact fight eliminated Australian welterweight Xavier Lucas for a spot in the semifinals.
Both teams once again came together for a Skype meeting with UFC president Dana White...
Derek Brunson Denied Spot On TUF By Showtime
Strikeforce middleweight Derek Brunson‘s trip to try out for The Ultimate Fighter ended unsuccessfully, but not because he couldn’t make the final cut for the reality show.
According to Brunson, after flying out to Las Vegas to begin filming, Showtime put the nix on his appearance on the reality show due to his existing contract with Strikeforce.
“As all of you know, I tried out for The Ultimate Fighter, made the show, flew to Vegas yesterday, weighed in today, filming was about to start. Showtime Network called and said they wouldn’t release me from my Strikeforce contract,” Brunson wrote on Monday.
“So no TUF for me. I want to thank Fox Network for being such professionals in trying to handle the situation. Back to the drawing board.”
BREAKING: Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones named coaches for TUF 17.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen (28-12-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) will serve as coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter 17" on FX.
The coaching assignments, as well as an April 27 fight date, today were confirmed by the Los Angeles Times.
Due to his coaching duties, Sonnen no longer will fight Forrest Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) at UFC 155 in December.
"TUF 17" filming begins Oct. 29, and the show then debuts on FX in January. The 17th edition of the UFC's long-running reality series is expected to feature middleweight and light-heavyweight fighters. Open tryouts for the tournament-based competition and show recently drew more than 120 UFC hopefuls.
Episode No. 1 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson'
As "The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson" opens up, 32 welterweight fighters make their way into Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. UFC President Dana White is already in the octagon, and he greets the fighters with a reminder of what's on the line for these UFC hopefuls.
With the season going back to a taped format, gone are the one-round fights of the previous season. THese fighters will make their way into the house by winning a two-round exhibition fight.
The coaches are then introduced for the first time, and the fighters seem impressed with both Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson. "Big Country" starts things off by letting the competitors know that while Dana wants exciting fights, winning should be the first priority. Shane offers a more typical follow-your-dreams piece of advice before Dana lets the fighters know Roy is way off-base. He wants the guys to bring it.
Dana lays out the prize: a six-figure contract for the season's winner, as well as a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle for the both the winning fighter and coach.
Sixteen fighters' dreams will end before they ever really begin...
Ross Pearson vs. George Sotiropoulos slated for UFC on FX 6 in Australia
As expected, a lightweight bout between "The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K." coaches Ross Pearson (13-6 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and George Sotiropoulos (14-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) will be part of the newly announced UFC on FX 6 event.
UFC on FX 6 is scheduled for Dec. 15 (and airs live in the U.S. on Dec. 14 due to the time difference) in an Australian city and venue still to be determined.
Event sources confirmed the bout with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Pearson and Sotiropoulos will be featured on the night's FX-televised main card with a Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares middleweight headliner. Finals for the show, also dubbed "TUF: TheSmashes," will be part of the main card, as well. FUEL TV and FX are expected to carry the night's prelims...
UFC Announces Tryouts for Season 17 of 'The Ultimate Fighter'
'The Ultimate Fighter' (TUF) season 16 hasn't even started airing, but tryouts were announced today by UFC for season 17, which is scheduled to air on FX in early 2013.
UFC said today the spring 2013 season would feature light heavyweights (205 pounds) and middleweights (185 pounds). Tryouts will be held at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. at the Grand Ballroom, on Sept. 17th.
Coaches for the show are yet to be named.
'TUF: Australia vs. UK - TheSmashes' cast unveiled with 16 fighters
The full teams include:
-Colin Fletcher (8-1), 29, Sunderland (lightweight)
-Norman Parke (16-2), 25, Bushmills, Northern Ireland (lightweight)
-Michael Pastou (9-2), 30, Essex (lightweight)
-Mike Wilkinson (7-0), 24, Leigh (lightweight)
-Luke Newman (5-0), 22, London (welterweight)
-Bola Omoyele (6-1), 30, London (welterweight)
-Valentino Petrescu (12-2), 30, Essex (welterweight)
-Brad Scott (8-1), 23, Melksham (welterweight)
-Grant Blackler (8-0), 23, Sunshine Coast (lightweight)
-Patrick Iodice (5-0), 19, GoldCoast (lightweight)
-Richie Vaculik (9-1), 29, Sydney (lightweight)
-Ben Wall (6-0-1), 23, Brisbane (lightweight)
-Ben Alloway (12-3), 31, GoldCoast (welterweight)
-Xavier Lucas (8-3-1), 31, Perth (welterweight)
-Manuel Rodriguez (9-3), 27, Sydney (welterweight)
-Robert Whitaker (9-2), 21, Sydney (welterweight)
The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 Premiers on Sept. 14 with a New Approach
The UFC and Fox broke the ice of their reality TV efforts with The Ultimate Fighter Live, but the live twist to the series is one and done. Season 16 is currently in production and set to premiere on Sept. 14 on FX, minus the live fights of season 15.
The logistics of editing a week of recorded footage in with the live fights didn’t garner larger ratings on FX than the series had drawn in the past on Spike TV, and it left little time to develop the story lines that typically draw viewers deeper into a reality series.
TUF Live averaged slightly more than 1 million viewers per episode, which is below what the series had done in the past. That left a sour taste in UFC president Dana White’s mouth, as he is constantly looking for growth. But considering the Friday night time slot, which was new to the series, it was to be expected...
Lauzon: I thought Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of TUF
Being proactive paid off for Joe Lauzon last week. The UFC lightweight contender signed on to fight Gray Maynard and says he was the one pushing for the tough match up.
“I saw Gray say in an interview that he wanted to coach the next season of TUF against Nate Diaz,” Joe explains.
“He’s banking on Diaz beating [Ben] Henderson [when the two face off for Henderson’s title] and wants that title shot and, I guess, a third fight between him and Nate. So I contacted [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and said that I thought Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of TUF. They didn’t do that but later I got a call asking if I wanted to fight Gray on December 29th. Its on the main card of a huge card.”
Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey As Coaches On TUF? Tate All For It
Miesha Tate hopes that a win over Julie Kedzie can propel her right back into another shot at the Strikeforce bantamweight title that she once held. If, for some reason, a possible coaching position on The Ultimate Fighter also came with it, that would be fine with Tate.
Tate and Kedzie will highlight the prelim card for tonight's Strikeforce: Rousey Vs. Kaufman event on Showtime. The prelims air on Showtime Extreme from San Diego.
"I love it," said Tate, of coaching on TUF opposite Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. "I think that would be the fight to put on it if they were going to do that. It doesn't get any better than Ronda and I; two ladies who honestly have a rival between each other."
FX and UFC 'going to switch some things up' for future 'TUF' seasons
While officials say they're satisfied with the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" on FX, changes are on the way.
This season of the UFC's long-running reality series is the first on FX (after seven years and 14 seasons on Spike TV) and the first to feature live fights.
While UFC president Dana White believes many folks have painted a far-too-bleak picture of "TUF: Live," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) some changes are going to be made for future seasons.
"TUF: Live" has recorded the lowest ratings in series history, and episode No. 5 bottomed out with an all-time-low 947,000 viewers earlier this month. But in key demographics, the show continues to be among cable's highest-rated Friday-night programs. But White echoed comments he made to the "Orange County Register" earlier this week that the show isn't doing as well as he personally wants.
"It's not that I'm not happy," he told MMAjunkie.com. "I said it's a home run for them ... since they're dominating Friday nights with 18- to 34-year-old males. It's not the best position for me, though."
Friday nights are traditionally a barren wasteland for TV ratings, specifically among the UFC's targeted demo of young males. White knows that, and so do executives from the FOX-owned FX. But thanks to their seven-year partnership and current relationship, White said that one's thing that could change for future seasons...
'TUF: Brazil' premiere streams Sunday at 11:30 p.m. ET, elimination-round matchups set
The season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" is just five days away.
UFC officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the first international edition of the UFC's long-running reality series will stream Sunday on TUF.tv with subtitles.
Additionally, the matchups are set for the show's elimination round of fights.
"TUF: Brazil," which 16 featherweight and 16 middleweight fighters from Brazil, is currently in production in the South American country. Unlike the new live season in the U.S., the Brazil version – which features Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort as coaches – is taped and pre-packaged.
The first episode of "TUF: Brazil" debuts Sunday evening on Globo following "Big Brother" in Brazil. The start time will fluctuate slightly from week to week due to the reality show, but UFC officials said it'll stream on TUF.tv each week at 11:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. PT).
Additionally, FUEL TV will air the series at some point, but no dates or airtimes have been confirmed. It's now expected to air later this spring or summer...
'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' cast unveiled with 32 featherweights and middleweights
The fighters competing in the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter" have been revealed.
"TUF: Brazil," which features UFC notables Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as coaches, streams in the U.S. on UFC.com (simultaneously as it debuts March 25 in Brazil on Globo) and airs on FUEL TV (air times TBA).
A total of 32 featherweights and middleweights take part in the competition-reality series, the winners of which earn UFC contracts.
As with the recently debuted 15th U.S. edition of the reality show – "TUF: Live," which debuted this past Friday on U.S. – "TUF: Brazil" features an elimination round of fights. All winners of the those fights become official cast members. They then compete in the two tournaments, which are the focus of the reality show's regular-season run.
While most of the fighters are veterans of the Brazilian scene and largely undiscovered talent (in North America), there are a few notables, including featherweight Rodrigo Damm, a former Strikeforce and World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter, and 10-time IFL veteran Delson Heleno. However, notable Hacran Dias (20-1), one of the country's top prospects, isn't on the list.
The full list of "TUF: Brazil" fighters (courtesy globoesporte.com) includes:
Alexandre Ramos (5-0)
Rodrigo Damm (9-5)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (10-3)
Godofredo Pepey (8-0)
Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini (19-3-1)
Medeiros Anistavio (12-7)
Johnny Goncalves (4-0)
Medeiros Anistavio (5-0)
Fernando Duarte Guerra (10-1)
John Teixeira (13-0-1)
Rafael Bueno (7-1)
Wagner Campos (11-3)
Pedro Nobre (10-0-1)
Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva (14-1)
Dileno Lopes (8-0)
Giovanni da Silva Santos Jr. (10-1)
Sergio Moraes (6-1)
Cezar Ferreira (4-2)
Leonardo Mafra Teixeira (5-0)
Daniel Sarafian (7-2)
Gustavo Sampaio (5-1)
Richardson Moreira (3-0)
Fabio Luiz Vital da Costa (9-0-1)
Renee Forte (7-1)
Joao Paulo de Souza (8-4)
Francisco Drinaldo (10-1)
Thiago Rela (3-1)
Charles Maicon (8-1)
Gilberto Galvao (19-4-1)
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (8-1-1)
Samuel Trindade (6-1)
Delson Heleno (23-6)
Dana White on 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live' season debut: 'It was perfect'
From the live format to the new broadcaster partner to the surprise one-round fights, Friday's season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" couldn't have gone any better.
That's according to Dana White.
The UFC president spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the two-and-a-half-hour season debut, which included 16 live elimination-round fights on FX.
"Going into this thing ... you're always nervous when you do something new and do something different," he told MMAjunkie.com. "We worked long and hard on this show to make sure this came off with no hitches. I'm very happy to with how it came off. It was perfect. Everything went according to plan. There were literally no hiccups whatsoever.
"It's not easy doing this live. Nobody's even done this before, and it could have gone any more perfect."
MMAjunkie.com was on scene for the debut, which took place at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas. After 14 taped seasons on Spike TV, the UFC's long-running reality series went to a live format with its move to the FOX-owned FX. With UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and fellow headliner Urijah Faber on hand to scout for next week's team selections, White said they were treated to a stellar night of fights...