The newest cast for the show, which will feature a U.S. team vs. a U.K. team, started tryouts in the last couple of weeks with record turnouts.
To give fans an idea of what the fighters go through during the initial phases of casting for the show, the team at Suckerpunch Entertainment (suckerpunchent.com) posted some insider’s info about the tryouts to crown the next “Ultimate Fighter” and they have been gracious enough to share them with the MMAInsider.
According the report, the fighters first arrive and hurry to register, but then play a waiting game for the day’s activities to start. The first round of action was a grappling exhibition in which fighters took on one another in the same weight class for 1 minute sparring sessions.
The fighters went all out for that one minute apparently.
The second round of action is a striking and stand-up clinic, with fighters displaying boxing and kickboxing skills while another fighter or teammate held pads with which to strike. During this time, UFC matchmaker and vice president of talent relations, Joe Silva, could be seen walking around the room looking at the fighters and talking to producers about possible selections.
After many hours of grappling and striking exhibitions, the cast of nearly 800 potential fighters was whittled down to around 100 participants called back for possible selection on the show.
There’s still quite a bit of time before the season will begin filming so this tryout was obviously just the first stage to becoming a member of the ninth installment of the “Ultimate Fighter.”