Lyman Good was Bellator’s first welterweight champion. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Lyman Good (15-3): A former Bellator MMA champion, Good has never been finished in 18 career bouts, losing only to Ben Askren, Rick Hawn and Andrey Koreshkov -- men with a combined record of 45-3. The 28-year-old Team Tiger Schulmann export last fought at Bellator 95 a year ago, when he took a unanimous decision from Dante Rivera at the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Good has delivered eight of his 15 victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Cathal Pendred (13-2): A Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder, Pendred will enter the competition on the strength of a four-fight winning streak. The 26-year-old Irishman last competed at CWFC 55 in June, when he stopped Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Che Mills on third-round punches at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland. A stablemate of UFC featherweight Conor McGregor, Pendred also holds victories over David Bielkheden and Nicholas Musoke.
Ian Stephens (2-0): Stephens trains out of Blalock’s International Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Academy in Tennessee. The 25-year-old wrestled collegiately at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he won a national championship, and at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky, where he was a two-time All-American. Stephens has spent time in the Xtreme Fighting Championships organization, earning victories over Ryan Quinn and Joe Heink.
Adam Stroup (5-1): Stroup will enter the competition on a four-fight winning streak. The 27-year-old last appeared at a Sparta Combat League show in June, when he earned a unanimous verdict over Jeremy Hart at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley, Colo. Stroup operates out of the same FactoryX Muay Thai camp that spawned “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum Chris Camozzi.
Eddie Gordon (6-1): Gordon aligned himself with the Serra-Longo Fight Team, training under former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and alongside reigning UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The 30-year-old Jamaican-born middleweight played college football at Fordham University. Gordon last competed under the Championship Fighting Alliance banner in May, when he submitted Oscar Delgado with a second-round rear-naked choke at the Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla. He had spent his six previous fights in Ring of Combat, winning the promotion’s light heavyweight crown.
Dhiego Lima (9-1): Lima, 25, has authored seven finishes among his nine victories and will enter “The Ultimate Fighter” competition on the strength of a three-fight winning streak. The younger brother of two-time Bellator MMA welterweight tournament winner Douglas Lima, he trains out of an American Top Team affiliate in Atlanta. Lima last appeared in September, when he settled for a split decision over Ricky Rainey at an Xtreme Fighting Championships event in Albuquerque, N.M.
Nordine Taleb (8-2): A Tristar Gym representative, Taleb already has some “Ultimate Fighter” experience under his belt, having competed on “The Ultimate Fighter Nations.” The 32-year-old won seven consecutive fights between March 20, 2010 and May 4, 2012 -- a run of success that included a technical knockout victory over UFC veteran Pete Sell. Taleb has also competed inside the Bellator MMA organization, compiling a 2-1 record.
Hector Urbina (16-8-1): American Top Team’s Urbina has secured 13 of his 16 victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. The 26-year-old Bellator, King of the Cage and EliteXC veteran last appeared at North American Allied Fight Series “Fight Night in the Flats 9” in June, when he dispatched Nick Duell with third-round punches at the Nautica Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio. Urbina has not posted back-to-back wins since 2008.
Mike King (5-0): King has finished all five of his opponents. The 30-year-old Buckeye MMA representative last competed at a Championship Fighting Alliance event in January, when he struck Billy Garris into first-round submission at the Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla. King was an All-American football player at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.
Matt Gabel (8-3): Gabel, who has trained with UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes, honed his skills on the regional circuit. He has not fought since Extreme Challenge 220 in October 2012, when he halted a two-fight losing streak with a first-round submission against Jon Kennedy at the Winnavegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa. Gabel has yet to go the distance in 11 professional outings and sports 14-, 17-, 33-, 37- and 44-second stoppages on his resume.
Bojan Velickovic (8-2): An American Top Team export, Velickovic has secured all eight of his wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission, five of them inside one round. The 25-year-old Serbian has not competed since he dropped a majority decision to Krzysztof Jotko under the MMA Attack banner a little less than a year ago. Velickovic debuted in 2010, won his first six bouts and established himself as one of the sport’s premier middleweight prospects.
Adrian Miles (14-5): A Psychout MMA champion, Miles trains under Ultimate Fighting Championship mainstay Alan Belcher. The 30-year-old last fought under the V3 Fights banner in January, when he stopped Amaechi Oselukwue on third-round punches in Memphis, Tenn. He will carry a career-best streak of seven straight wins into his appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Miles has not lost back-to-back bouts since he bowed to Dave Menne and Charlie Rader three months apart in 2010.
Tyler Minton (3-1): Minton operates out of Team Oxendine in his native Tennessee but has trained previously with Team Quest and Grindhouse MMA. The 26-year-old Bluff City, Tenn., native last fought inside the 3FC Fighting Championship promotion in August, when he bounced back from his first professional defeat to submit Dameon Melton with a first-round arm-triangle choke.
Tim Williams (8-1): A former Locked in the Cage champion, Williams has yet to go the distance in nine career outings. The 27-year-old Team Balance representative last appeared at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 25 in June, when he submitted Noah Fuance with a third-round arm-triangle choke at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pa. “The South Jersey Strangler” has submitted five different opponents inside one round.
Roger Zapata (4-1): Zapata has plenty of momentum as he approaches “The Ultimate Fighter” gauntlet, having rattled off four straight wins. He last fought under the Reality Fighting banner in June, when he took a unanimous decision from Bellator MMA alum Chip Moraza-Pollard at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Zapata, 27, trains under Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bruno Tostes, a Renzo Gracie disciple.
Finish Reading » The Light Heavyweights