Competitors from 11 different countries have been cast for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter® led by UFC interim featherweight champion and proud Irishman Conor McGregor, opposite former WEC® featherweight champion Urijah “The California Kid” Faber. The premiere episode, debuting on September 9 at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, will showcase 32 fighters competing for one of 16 spots featuring eight Europeans and eight Americans and the opportunity to be coached by two of the sport’s best athletes.
The Europeans will be led by Dublin’s own McGregor (18-2, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland), while the American squad will be under the tutelage of Faber (32-8, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.). The fighters from around the globe will descend upon the Las Vegas desert for a chance at a UFC contract and the ability to be coached by two of the sports’ best. Given the history between McGregor and Faber’s Team Alpha Male gym, paired with national pride on the line, the teams’ rivalry will be fierce and competition intense.
McGregor took the MMA world by storm when he burst onto the UFC scene in 2013, quickly amassing a 6-0 record inside the Octagon en route to becoming the interim featherweight champion. Currently riding a 14-fight winning streak, “The Notorious” is set to unify his title with pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo at UFC 194 on December 12 in Las Vegas.
This will be Faber’s second stint as coach, having served as head coach for season 15 against rival Dominick Cruz in 2012. Widely considered a pioneer amongst fighters in the lighter weight classes, Faber is one of the most recognised and respected competitors in mixed martial arts history.
Below is a full list of competitors by team and in alphabetical order (name, professional record, age, hometown):
Andreas Quintana (8-1) from Albuquerque, N.M.
Austin Springer (8-0) from Portland, Ore.
Billy Quarantillo (6-1) from Tampa, Fla.
Brandon Ricetti (7-1) from Chico, Calif.
Brennan Sevin (7-1) from Chauvin, LA.
Chris Gruetzemacher (12-1) from Peoria, AZ
Jason Soares (8-0) from Miami, Fla.
Johnny Nunez (5-1) from Las Vegas, NV
James Jenkins (8-1) from Long Island, NY
Jason Gonzalez (9-2) from Colton, Calif.
Julian Erosa (14-1) from Yakima, Wash.
Mike Flach (7-1) from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Ryan Hall (4-1) from Falls Church, VA
Thanh Le (4-1) from New Orleans, LA
Tim Welch (12-5) from Glendale, Ariz.
Tom Gallicchio (19-8) from Perth Amboy, N.J.
Artem Lobov (11-10-1-1) from Dublin, Ireland
Abner Lloveras (19-7-1) from Barcelona, Spain
David Teymur (3-1) from Stockholm, Sweden
Djamil Chan (19-2) from Amsterdam, Netherlands
Frantz Frank Slioa (4-0) from Stockholm, Sweden
Marcin Wrzosek (10-2) from Bydgoszcz, Poland
Martin Delaney (10-1) from Bathgate, Scotland
Martin Svensson (14-5) from Malmo, Sweden
Mehdi Baghdad (11-3) from Toulon, France
Mohamed Grabinski (10-1) from Dusseldorf, Germany
Paulo Boer (10-1-1) from Holland
Sascha Sharma (8-2) from Stuttgart, Germany
Saul Rogers (10-1) from Bolton, England
Sean Carter (10-1) from Essex, England
Thibault Gouti (10-0) vs. Avignon, France
Vladimir Sikic (10-0) from Frankfurt, Germany
The show will feature 12 episodes airing Wednesdays on FOX Sports 1. Each episode’s winner will advance in the single-elimination tournament, leading to the season finale card on December 11 in Las Vegas. The finale will be headlined by former lightweight champion and current second-ranked featherweight Frankie Edgar taking on Faber teammate, No. 3 Chad Mendes.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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