Before bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and rival Urijah Faber meet for the third chapter in their trilogy at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas, they will match wits as coaches on Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
The FX network -- which will air the show for the first time after its long and successful run on Spike TV -- on Monday unveiled a 32-man cast comprised entirely of lightweight fighters. Season 15 will debut with a two-and-a-half-hour live premiere on March 9 at 9 p.m. ET. The diverse group of martial artists was narrowed down from a field of 500 prospective entrants and includes competitors from the United States, England, Northern Ireland and Brazil.
Season 15 of the series introduces a new format that features live fights during the 13 consecutive weeks in which it airs. Previous installments of the popular reality program were taped months in advance over a six-week period. The show will conclude with a three-hour live finale on June 1, when the winner will earn a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The premiere begins with 16 live fights, with the winners advancing into “The Ultimate Fighter” house. They will then be divided into two eight-man teams, which will be coached by Cruz and Faber.
The complete cast for Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter” follows:
Easily the season’s most experienced entrant, Arreola made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2002. A winner in 15 of his past 17 bouts, the Mexico-based welterweight has not fought since August, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Ronys Torres at Shooto Brazil 25. Arreola owns a 2007 submission victory over former WEC lightweight champion and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 alum Gabe Ruediger.
Continue Reading » Erin Beach