The Ultimate Fighter on FX: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Fighters Announced

January 9, 2013
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TUF Team Jones vs Team Sonnen PosterThe 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter, featuring coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, kicks off on Jan. 22 with a special two-hour premiere airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

The Ultimate Fighter will run for 13 weeks and culminate in a three-hour finale, live from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Unlike the two previous seasons on FX, the one-hour, weekly broadcast will now be shown on Tuesday nights at its new regularly scheduled timeslot of 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The 14 fighters that earn their way into the TUF house, will be divided into two teams. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will captain one team, while Chael Sonnen will lead the second team.

The coaches will then collide for the light heavyweight title on Saturday, April 27, at UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Not surprisingly, both Jones and Sonnen will be bringing their trademark self-confidence into their stints as coaches this season on The Ultimate Fighter.

“I thought it would be a good way to share myself with the sport of MMA,” Jones said. “I embrace the role.”

Said Sonnen, “The hottest show on FX is being graced with the greatest talent God ever made: Chael P. Sonnen.’’

The list of finalists in the middleweight (185 pounds) division was trimmed from more than 250 applicant athletes. The fighters – all seeking the opportunity of a lifetime and a six-figure contract from the Ultimate Fighting Championship – hail from the United States, Australia, England and Sweden.

“The quality of guys we have this season in unbelievable,” said UFC president Dana White. “From the fights to get into the house, to every single fight this season, I think the talent is some of the best I’ve ever seen on this show. We’re going to end up with some really good guys in the 185-pound division.”

On Jan. 22, the season will launch with 14 elimination bouts. The victorious fighters earn a spot in The Ultimate Fighter house in Las Vegas, and will then be drafted into opposing teams headed up by Jones and Sonnen.

The TUF 17 competitors are:

Dylan Andrews (16-4-1), 32, Gold Coast, AUS
Hito Andrews (9-2), 34, Sacramento, Calif.
Luke Barnatt (5-0), 24, Cambridge, ENG
Leo Bercier (7-2), 31, Great Falls, Montana
Ryan Lee Q. Bigler (9-3), 28, Guam
Kevin Casey (5-2), 31, Hawthorne, Calif.
Adam Cella (4-0), 27, Fenton, Mo.
Zach Cummings (15-3), 28, Kansas City, Mo.
Andy Enz, (6-1), 21, Anchorage, Alaska
Nik Fehete (5-1), 32, Las Vegas, Nev.
Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), 20, Yuma, Ariz.
Uriah Hall (7-2), 28, New York City, N.Y.
Collin Hart (4-1-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Clint Hester (7-3), 24, Atlanta, Ga.
Jake Heun (3-2), 25, Salt Lake City, Utah
Nicholas Hohring (3-0), 22, Valley Springs, Calif.
Mike Jaspar (6-0), 29, Camarillo, Calif.
Bubba McDaniel (20-6), 29, Albuquerque, N.M.
Frasier Opie (10-5), 25, Milton Keynes, ENG
Frederick Persons (3-0), 28, Stockton, Calif.
Jimmy Quinlan (3-0), 26, Metheun, Mass.
Scott Rosa (4-1), 27, Sparks, Nev.
Josh Samman (9-2), 24, Tallahassee, Fla.
Gilbert Smith (5-1), 30, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Eldon Sproat (3-1), 27, Molohai, Hawaii
Tor Troeng (15-4-1), 29, Umea, SWE
Eric Wahlin (5-1), 29, Taylorsville, Utah
Timothy Williams (7-1), 26, Millville, N.J.

Stay tuned to for all the latest Ultimate Fighter 17 news and updates.

  • Joey

    The only two guys that could be “terrifying” the house and putting guys in the hospital are Tor Troeng and Uriah Hall.

    I have a distinct hunch that its Uriah Hall though. Dude is huge for a middleweight and is a stand up specialist with a lot of power. I could see how a lot of these guys would be frightened to fight him. Not to mention his only two losses of his career are to Chris Weidman and Costa Phillpou, which isn’t anything to be ashamed of.

    • Scotty_O

      What makes you say this? Do you actually know all 32 of these fighters?

      • Joey

        I don’t know of all of them but have heard of a few. However Youtube is a beautiful thing as well as looking at their records mixed with the amount of quality opponents they have faced.

        Again it was just a hunch so take it for what its worth. But those two I mentioned look to have fought the higher level of competition and seem to have the skills (Uriah has knockout power and Tor is very well rounded) to do what Dana has stated one of the fighters in the house has done.

        • carenz

          Tor is well rounded but not that impressive to strike fear….. on the other hand uriah sounds spot on… if one of his rotating head kicks hits it will shatter a jaw, i think you are spot on about uriah. Chers

          • Nosgoth1979

            Wow, you guys really called it about Uriah! This is shaping up to be one of the best seasons of TUF ever. I don’t usually re-watch episodes this soon, but I’ve already gone back and watched the entire first episode as well as the Hall/Cella fight like 3 times! Seeing that I’m an employee of DISH, I was psyched when we released the Hopper a while back because it has this massive hard drive. It’ll hold 2,000 hours of my shows, so even after storing a bunch of full seasons of my favorite shows, I haven’t even put a dent in the storage space yet.

  • Hammer-Time


    I think its best to wait until you see the fighters fight.. Its tough to tell someone’s skill set when they’re not fighting on the big stages.. Youtube videos only tell you so much.. You can definately see who the top guys are after a few rounds of TUF.. Time will tell, but making a statement like the one above is a little outlandish.

  • Guest

    How Chael Sonnen dare claim that as far as MMA is involved he is the “greatest talent God ever made”? Don’t get me wrong, Sonnen is super tough but Jon Jones has no real defeat on his MMA record (c’mon everyone saw the Matt Hamill fight, right?). Sonnen is always talking his way to the top. Boring.