The Ultimate Fighter season 10 is set to be televised on September 16th, 2009 and the full cast has been released to the public. The list of 16 fighters has been narrowed down from 32 heavyweight fighters who battled their way into the TUF house. The list includes former UFC fighters, former EliteXC fighters, NFL players, former IFL fighters, a former Sengoku fighter and more.
The coaches for TUF 10 was announced by Dana White and they include former light heavyweight champions Rashad “Sugar” Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Here’s the list of 16 heavyweight fighters (props to the Sun):
- KIMBO SLICE: The YouTube phenomenon and former Elite XC headliner will be the main attraction in the new season. UFC president Dana White has continually derided the 35-year-old, claiming “he would get killed in the UFC”. It will be interesting to see if he is proved right.
- ROY NELSON: Boasting a 13-4 MMA record, the 32-year-old is a former Elite XC fighter who is perhaps best known for being knocked out by Andrei Arlovski last October.
- WES SIMS: Formerly on the UFC roster, the 29-year-old was cut after just one year in the promotion in 2004 after losing three successive fights to Frank Mir (twice) and Mike Kyle.
- MARCUS JONES: Former NFL defensive end for Tampa Bay Buccaneers between 1996 and 2002. Occasional guest on the popular American radio show Bubba the Love Sponge. Trained in MMA for just over two years.
- MATT MITRIONE: Another ex-NFL player, debuted as a rookie in 2002 for Minnesota Vikings. Very little MMA experience but trains with highly-regarded UFC heavyweight Jake O’Brien.
- WES SHIVERS: NFL veteran and a late call-up to replace fellow pro-footballer Rex Richards. Very confident of winning the whole thing. Speaking last year, he bragged: “The only reason I have six fights now is because we have trouble finding opponents. One fight in particular, I had four opponents back out on me in a two-week period of time.”
- JIM YORK: Nicknamed “Big”, York shares one thing in common with Kimbo – he too has beaten Britain’s James Thompson. The 33-year-old New Zealander emerged victorious from their Sengoku 7 clash after KO’ing the Englishman in the opening round of their bout in March.
- JUSTIN WREN: At 22 years old, The Viking is the youngest contestant in the new series. He has a 6-1 MMA record and trains with UFC star Travis Lutter’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team.
- MIKE WESSEL: The Ohio native has already fought in the UFC, losing to Antoni Hardonk via TKO at UFC 92 in the second round. However, it should be noted that Wessel only took that fight on a week’s notice, and UFC president Dana White was impressed enough to offer him a four-fight deal and place on season ten of TUF for his efforts.
- SCOTT JUNK: Another fighter with previous UFC experience. The 30-year-old lost via heel hook in the opening round of his UFC 72 bout against Hungarian Christian Wellisch in September 2007.
- ZAK JENSEN: Boasts a 7-3 MMA record and is noted for his strong wrestling ability. Has suffered defeats to fellow TUF alumni Brad Imes and Mike Whitehead.
- DARRILL SCHOONOVER: An impressive 10-0 MMA record sets the big Texan apart from the rest of the cast. The 23-year-old is an early favourite to win the series and UFC contract.
- BRENDAN SCHAUB: Has fought in MMA for over two years but little is known about his ability. A 4-0 record suggests he has raw skills but his lack of experience could count against him.
- JON MADSEN: Part of legendary UFC welterweight Matt Hughes’ stable but only has one MMA fight to his name – a KO win over Cody Griffen earlier this month.
- TOM BLACKLEDGE: British MMA enthusiasts may already be familiar with Blackledge – he fights out of the Wolfslair in Widnes. He will be hoping to repeat the success of teammate Michael Bisping by winning TUF, but his 8-6 record suggests the odds may be against him.
- ABE WAGNER: Big Nebraskan holds a 6-2 professional MMA record and could be the surprise package of this season.