“The Ultimate Fighter 9: U.S. vs. U.K.” to feature 185- and 170-pounders
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV will add a twist to the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and will pit a team of U.S. fighters up against a team of British brawlers.
The show, which debuts in the spring of 2009, will feature middleweight and welterweight fighters.
The details of “TUF 9” were revealed during Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 15 broadcast.
“TUF,” which debuted in early 2005, kicked off its eighth season on Wednesday. The groundbreaking reality series, which was the catalyst for MMA’s recent popularity explosion, has launched the UFC careers of more than 100 fighters, and even resulted in the crowning of two UFC champions.
The talent search for “TUF 9” will kick off soon with the traditional application process at UFC.com and SpikeTV.com. Additionally, optional (but oftentimes helpful) open tryout dates are set for Oct. 20 in London, England, and Oct. 27 in Chicago, Ill.
No coaches were announced for the series, but considering the UFC’s propensity for bringing in high-profile fighters to hype future bouts, the options are plentiful — especially if a future title fight is on the line.
Season-three winner Michael Bisping would be a natural fit for the U.K. team considering the massive resources the UFC has invested in his image in Europe. As for the U.S. team, “TUF” alumni such as Kendall Grove, Chris Leben, Mike Swick and Nate Quarry are possible — though maybe not probable — options. Veteran such as Nate Marquardt, Thales Leites, Dan Henderson and Jason MacDonald are perhaps better options, especially if a middleweight title shot is on the line.