UFC officials Wednesday released the names of the 28 middleweights who will compete on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17.
“The quality of guys we have this season in unbelievable,” UFC President Dana White stated in a release. “From the fights to get into the house, to every single fight this season, I think the talent is some of the best I’ve ever seen on this show. We’re going to end up with some really good guys in the 185-pound division.”
While most of the cast is made up of American talent, the series will also showcase a handful of international fighters, with seven of the middleweights entering the competition sporting undefeated records. The season kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 22, on FX and will star reigning light heavyweight king Jon Jones and former two-time middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen as coaches. The premiere will feature 14 fights from the competition’s elimination round, cutting the tournament field in half while deciding who gains access to the infamous “TUF” house.
The move to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET marks a change for “TUF” on the FX network, as the Fox-owned cable outlet previously aired two seasons of the reality show on Friday nights at 7 p.m. ET. Colton Smith became the show’s most recent winner by outpointing fellow welterweight Mike Ricci at the “TUF 16” finale on Dec. 15.
Launched in 2005 on Spike TV, “TUF” has introduced some of the UFC’s best-known talents, including Chris Leben, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian, Rashad Evans, Gray Maynard, Michael Bisping and Forrest Griffin. The show ran for 14 seasons on Spike until the UFC’s broadcast agreement with the Viacom-owned network expired, prompting the organization to sign a seven-year deal with Fox and move the series to FX in 2012.
‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 17 Cast
Dylan Andrews (16-4-1), 32, Gold Coast, Australia
Jake Heun (3-2), 25, Salt Lake City, Utah
Kito Andrews (9-2), 34, Sacramento, Calif.
Nicholas Hohring (3-0), 22, Valley Springs, Calif.
Luke Barnatt (5-0), 24, Cambridge, England
Mike Jasper (6-0), 29, Camarillo, Calif.
Leo Bercier (7-2), 31, Great Falls, Mont.
Bubba McDaniel (20-6), 29, Albuquerque, N.M.
Ryan Lee Q. Bigler (9-3), 28, Guam
Fraser Opie (10-5), 25, Milton Keynes, England
Kevin Casey (5-2), 31, Hawthorne, Calif.
Frederick Persons (3-0), 28, Stockton, Calif.
Adam Cella (4-0), 27, Fenton, Mo.
Jimmy Quinlan (3-0), 26, Metheun, Mass.
Zak Cummings (15-3), 28, Kansas City, Mo.
Scott Rosa (4-1), 27, Sparks, Nev.
Andy Enz, (6-1), 21, Anchorage, Ala.
Josh Samman (9-2), 24, Tallahassee, Fla.
Nik Fekete (5-1), 32, Las Vegas, Nev.
Gilbert Smith (5-1), 30, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), 20, Yuma, Ariz.
Eldon Sproat (3-1), 27, Molohai, Hawaii
Uriah Hall (7-2), 28, New York City, N.Y.
Tor Troeng (15-4-1), 29, Umea, Sweden
Collin Hart (4-1-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Eric Wahlin (5-1), 29, Taylorsville, Utah
Clint Hester (7-3), 24, Atlanta, Ga.
Timothy Williams (7-1), 26, Millville, N.J.