The 19th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will debut April 16 on Fox Sports 1 with a cast comprised of middleweights and light heavyweights.
The two-hour premiere airs directly after the “TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia” finale and will feature the show’s elimination round, where 32 fighters are whittled down to 16 through head-to-head competition. When eights fighters in each weight class remain, coaches B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar will divide the talent into two teams.
The UFC announced 31 of the participants on Tuesday. Sherdog.com attempted to confirm the final name with UFC officials, but they indicated that no specifics would be revealed until the premiere.
Several notable talents have joined the 32-man cast, including former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good. Additionally, Ex-Ring of Combat ruler Nordine Taleb will make his second appearance on the UFC reality show following his participation in “TUF Nations,” and prospect Dhiego Lima -- brother of Bellator title contender Douglas Lima -- joins the cast on the heels of three straight victories.
As per usual, the 16 qualifying fighters will live together and compete for a six-figure UFC contract. The middleweight and light heavyweight winners will be decided at the live finale on July 6, which takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The Fox Sports 1-broadcast event will also see Edgar take on Penn in a headlining featherweight showdown. “The Answer” and “The Prodigy” previously competed twice at 155 pounds, with Edgar earning a controversial decision over Penn to take his lightweight title in April 2010. Edgar then left no doubt in their rematch that August, soundly outpointing the former two-division champion at UFC 118.
“The Ultimate Fighter 19” Full Cast:
Matt Van Buren