In an interesting promotional move, the UFC has announced that the 24th season of The Ultimate Fighter will be a 16-man tournament for a December shot at the UFC flyweight title. That season kicks off on August 31st on Fox Sports One.
The current champion is Demetrious Johnson, who defends the title against Henry Cejudo on 4/23 in Las Vegas. Based on the timing of when the TUF winner would get the title shot, there could be a Johnson/Cejudo rematch before that if something controversial happens.
The company announced tryouts for season 24 would take place on 4/25 at the Palace Station in Las Vegas, and that they are looking for fighters between the ages of 21 and 34, with at least three pro fights and an above .500 winning percentage. The season will be filmed in June and July.
The finalists will compete in the final regular episode of the season, meaning the opponent for the champion would likely only be advertised for a short period of time, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, before the title match takes place.
What's notable is that if they are not including fighters on the roster like Joseph Benavidez, Louis Smolka and Zach Makovsky on the competition, it's pretty ridiculous to bypass legitimate top contenders and bring in only unknowns in a division where virtually every top fighter in the weight class is already in UFC.