Monday, 27 February 2012 09:09
The list of finalists was trimmed from more than 500 prospective entrants from around the world. Those seeking to cash in on the opportunity of a lifetime include fighters in the lightweight (155 pounds) division from the United States, England, Northern Ireland and Brazil.
The inaugural season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER LIVE on FX will run for 13 consecutive weeks, featuring live fights every episode, and culminate with a championship fight on June 1, in a three-hour finale. Following the eagerly anticipated premiere on its new home, the series will remain on Fridays but move to 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) for 12 weeks. (Telecasts of TUF Live will air live nationally on DirecTV ch. 248 and DISH-Channel ch. 136.)
As part of The Ultimate Fighting Championship®’s landmark deal with FOX Sports Media Group, FX will also televise a second 13-week season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER LIVE this summer. There will be two 13-week seasons of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER LIVE on FX annually for the next seven years. The eventual winner of each season receives a six-figure contract from the UFC.
The 13 weeks of taping are more than twice as long as previous TUF seasons (six). Unlike past editions when each season was taped months in advance of its broadcast, new episodes with live fights will now air each week.
There will be 16 live fights on March 9. The competitors are:
Akbarh Arreloa, Chula Vista, Calif.
Al Iaquinta, Wantagh, N.Y.
Ali Maclean, Belfast, North Ireland
Andy Ogle, Tynemouth, England
Austin Lyons, Cordova, Tenn.
Brendan Weafer, New York, N.Y.
Chris Tickle, Bloomington, Ill.
Cody Pfister, Amarillo, Texas
Cristiano Marcello, Curitiba, Brazil
Chase Hackett, Littleton, Colo.
Chris Saunders, Long Beach, Calif.
Dakota Cochrane, Omaha, Neb.
Daron Cruickshank, Wayne, Mich.
Drew Dober, Omaha, Neb.
Erin Beach, San Diego, Calif.
James Krause, Blue Springs, Mich.
James Vick, Fort Worth, Texas
Jared Carlsten, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jeff Smith, Mechanicsburg, Penn.
Jeremy Larsen, Phoenix, Ariz.
Joe Proctor, Pembroke, Mass.
John Cofer, Hull, Ga.
Johnavan Vistante, Pearl City, Hawaii
Jon Tuck, Hagtna, Guam
Jordan Rinaldi, Matthews, N.C.
Justin Lawrence, Villa Ridge, Mo.
Mark Glover, Liverpool, England
Michael Chiesa, Spokane Valley, Wash.
Myles Jury, San Diego, Calif.
Mike Rio, Miami, Fla.
Sam Sicilia, Spokane Valley, Wash.
Vinc Pichel, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The previously announced coaches for the two teams will be current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and former WEC featherweight champion and current top contender, Urijah Faber. Cruz and Faber are no strangers to each other. The popular UFC superstars and rivals have split two previous fights and will clash for a third time at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas.
Following the live fights during the series premiere episode, or “Fight In,” the field will be halved. The 16 survivors will then be broken up into two teams of eight. Each team will train with each other and reside in a house together in Las Vegas for the duration of the season. One fighter from each team will be selected by their coach to fight at the end of each weekly installment on FX for the right to advance in the competition and, ultimately, perhaps, be crowned THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER LIVE Champion and earn the life-changing contract with the UFC.