Spike TV Reveals TUF 9 Cast

By Brian Knapp Mar 9, 2009
Fighters from opposite sides of the globe will carry the banners of the United States and the United Kingdom on season nine of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the cast for which was released on Monday by Spike TV representatives.

UFC superstars Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping will serve as coaches.

Henderson, a two-time Olympian, remains the only man to ever hold major titles in two different weight classes simultaneously. The 30-year-old Bisping, the light heavyweight winner on “The Ultimate Fighter 3,” has posted three consecutive wins since he dropped to 185 pounds.

The show -- which will feature lightweights and welterweights -- will premiere on Spike TV at 10 p.m. ET/PT on April 1 and will culminate at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale on June 20 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Kevin Knabjian (10-3-1) and former International Fight League standout Mark Miller (8-5) headline the American cast, along with journeyman Ray Elbe (20-11) and Miletich Fighting Systems products Jason Pierce (6-0) and Kiel Reid (0-1).

The 24-year-old Knabjian, a wrestler spawned by the same university, Eastern Illinois, as future UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes, will carry a four-fight winning streak into his appearance on the show. Miller, meanwhile, holds victories against UFC veterans Brad Blackburn and Josh Neer. In fact, he remains the only man to knock out Neer in 33 career bouts.

Welterweight prospect Che Mells, who cut his teeth inside the Cage Rage promotion, carries the hopes of the United Kingdom roster, along with Team Rough House product Andre Winner (9-2-1), Jeff Lawson (12-2) and Alex Reid (8-8-1, 1 NC). Though the 33-year-old Reid has lost six fights in a row, he has tested himself against high-caliber competition, including Murilo Rua, Jorge Rivera and one-time UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne. The UK cast also includes Gary Kelly (2-1, 1 NC), the brother of UFC veteran Paul Kelly.

“The Ultimate Fighter” reality series has served as a launching pad for some of the sport’s best-known fighters, including reigning UFC light heavyweight king Rashad Evans, former 205-pound titleholder Forrest Griffin and lightweight contenders Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian.

The full cast for “The Ultimate Fighter 9” follows:

Photo Courtesy: SpikeTV

Team USA cast.
(Click to enlarge)
United States Welterweights
Ryan Biglar
Ray Elbe
Christian Fulgium
Damarques Johnson
Kevin Knabjian
Mark Miller
Jason Pierce
Kiel Reid

United Kingdom Welterweights
Dean Amasinger
James Bateman
David Faulkner
Tommy Maguire
Che Mills
Nicholas Osipczak
Alex Reid
James Wilks

Photo Courtesy: SpikeTV

Team UK cast.
(Click to enlarge)
United States Lightweights
Paul Bird
Santino Defranco
Jason Dent
Cameron Dollar
Tom Hayden
Waylon Lowe
Josh Souder
Richie Whitson

United Kingdom Lightweights
James Bryan
Dan James
Gary Kelly
Jeff Lawson
Ross Pearson
Martin Stapleton
AJ Wenn
Andre Winner
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