Competitors from 11 different countries have been cast for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter led by UFC interim featherweight champion and proud Irishman Conor McGregor, opposite former WEC featherweight champion Urijah “The California Kid” Faber. The premiere episode, debuting on September 9 at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, will showcase 32 fighters competing for one of 16 spots featuring eight Europeans and eight Americans and the opportunity to be coached by two of the sport’s best athletes.
The Europeans will be led by Dublin’s own McGregor (18-2, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland), while the American squad will be under the tutelage of Faber (32-8, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.). The fighters from around the globe will descend upon the Las Vegas desert for a chance at a UFC contract and the ability to be coached by two of the sports’ best. Given the history between McGregor and Faber’s Team Alpha Male gym, paired with national pride on the line, the teams’ rivalry will be fierce and competition intense.
McGregor took the MMA world by storm when he burst onto the UFC scene in 2013, quickly amassing a 6-0 record inside the Octagon en route to becoming the interim featherweight champion. Currently riding a 14-fight winning streak, “The Notorious” is set to unify his title with pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo atUFC 194 on December 12 in Las Vegas.
This will be Faber’s second stint as coach, having served as head coach for season 15 against rival Dominick Cruz in 2012. Widely considered a pioneer amongst fighters in the lighter weight classes, Faber is one of the most recognized and respected competitors in mixed martial arts history.
Below is a full list of competitors by team and in alphabetical order (name, professional record, age, hometown):
|Andreas Quintana, 8-1, 24, Albuquerque, N.M.||Artem Lobov, 11-10-1-1, 28, Dublin, Ireland|
|Austin Springer, 8-0, 27, Portland, Ore.||Abner Lloveras, 19-7-1, 32, Barcelona, Spain|
|Billy Quarantillo, 6-1, 26, Tampa, Fla.||David Teymur, 3-1, 25, Stockholm, Sweden|
|Brandon Ricetti, 7-1, 28, Chico, Calif.||Djamil Chan, 19-2, 24, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Brennan Sevin, 7-1, 29, Chauvin, La.||Frantz Frank Slioa, 4-0, 24, Stockholm, Sweden|
|Chris Gruetzemacher, 12-1, 29, Peoria, Ariz.||Marcin Wrzosek, 10-2, 27, Bydgoszcz, Poland|
|Jason Soares, 8-0, 25, Miami, Fla.||Martin Delaney, 10-1, 36, Bathgate, Scotland|
|Johnny Nunez, 5-1, 29, Las Vegas, Nev.||Martin Svensson, 14-5, 30, Malmo, Sweden|
|James Jenkins, 8-1, 29, Long Island, N.Y.||Mehdi Baghdad, 11-3, 29, Toulon, France|
|Jason Gonzalez, 9-2, 25, Colton, Calif.||Mohamed Grabinski, 10-1, 23, Dusseldorf, Germany|
|Julian Erosa, 14-2, 25, Yakima, Wash.||Paulo Boer, 10-1-1, 29, Holland|
|Mike Flach, 7-1, 27, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.||Sascha Sharma, 8-2, 27, Stuttgart, Germany|
|Ryan Hall, 4-1, 30, Falls Church, Va.||Saul Rogers, 10-1, 25, Bolton, England|
|Thanh Le, 4-1, 29, New Orleans, La.||Sean Carter, 10-1, 30, Essex, England|
|Tim Welch, 12-5, 25, Glendale, Ariz.||Thibault Gouti, 10-0, 28, Avignon, France|
|Tom Gallicchio, 19-8, 28, Perth Amboy, N.J.||Vladimir Sikic, 10-0, 25, Frankfurt, Germany|
The show will feature 12 episodes airing Wednesdays on FOX Sports 1. Each episode’s winner will advance in the single-elimination tournament, leading to the season finale card on December 11 in Las Vegas. The finale will be headlined by former lightweight champion and current second-ranked featherweight Frankie Edgar taking on Faber teammate, No. 3 Chad Mendes.