For the first time in the show’s history, starting with its seventh season, “The Ultimate Fighter” will debut on Spike TV with 32 competitors vying for a shot at a UFC contract. This time each competitor will have to fight to earn his spot on the show.
The first two episodes, airing April 2 and April 9, will include a total of 16 fights, either airing in their entirety or featuring extensive highlights. The 16 fighters who win will advance to The Ultimate Fighter house, while the 16 fighters who lose will go home.
“The new format will give us two incredibly intense episodes to launch the season and will weed out some of the guys who might not have the heart and desire that it takes to become a UFC fighter,” said UFC president Dana White about the new season.
The coaches for the final 16 middleweight fighters will be current light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his next opponent, Ultimate Fighter alumnus Forrest Griffin.
The list of fighters vying for a spot on the seventh season, as released by Dave Meltzer of Yahoo Sports, is as follows: Paul Bradley, Steve Byrnes, Mike Dolce, Gerald Harris, Dante Rivera, David Baggett, Matt Brown, Erik Charles, John Clarke, Daniel Cramer, Tim Credeur, Clarence Dollaway, John Hall, Nick Klein, David Mewborn, Mike Marrello, Jeremy May, Prince LaDonas Mclean, Aaron Meisner, Reggie Orr, Matthew Riddle, Jeremiah Riggs, David Roberts, Nick Rossborough, Amir Sadollah, Patrick Schultz, Brandon Sene, Dan Simmler, Jesse Taylor, Cale Yarbrough, John Wood, and Luke Zachrich.