by MMAWeekly.com Staff (Photo courtesy of Spike TV)
(Photo courtesy of Spike TV)

With the debut of the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter around the corner, SI.com on Monday released the roster of athletes that will be featured on the show. Season 8 of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV’s popular reality series hits the airwaves at 10 p.m. ET on Sept. 17 following UFC Fight Night in Omaha, Neb.

Breaking from Season 7’s formula of 32 fighters in one weight class, the upcoming edition of the series returns to 16 fighters in each of two weight classes. The weight classes featured on Season 8 are the 155-pound lightweight division and the 205-pound light heavyweight division.

The upcoming season will be similar to Season 7 in one regard though. The cast will initially start out with 32 fighters who, over the course of the first two episodes on Sept. 17 and 24, will have to fight and win their spots among the final 16 that make it into the Ultimate Fighter house.

Once the finalists have established themselves after week-to-week competition throughout the season, the final two in each weight class will meet in the Octagon on Dec. 13 for the live Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale on Spike TV.

UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will coach one of the teams. The other team features former titleholder Frank Mir as its head coach.

Though no official announcements have been made in regards to assistant coaches, there is heavy speculation that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and light heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida will assist Nogueira, while Mir is expected to be assisted by Abu Dhabi submission champion Robert Drysdale and Wanderlei Silva conditioning coach Rafael Alejarra.


LIGHTWEIGHT (155-pound division):
-Jose Aguilar (17-3-0)
-Fernando Bernstein (2-0-0)
-Junie Allen Browning (2-0-0)
-Rolando Delgado (7-3-1)
-Joseph Duarte (3-0-0)
-Charles Diaz (14-4-0)
-Efrain Escudero (10-0-0)
-Brandon Garner (4-1-0)
-David Kaplan (3-1-0)
-Brian McLaughlin (5-0-0)
-Wesley Murch (4-2-0)
-Shane Nelson (11-3-0)
-Phillipe Nover (5-0-1)
-Ido Pariente (13-4-0)
-John Polakowski (3-1-0)
-George Roop (7-3-0)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (205-pound division):
-Ryan Bader (7-0-0)
-Antwain Britt (4-0-0)
-Jules Bruchez (3-2-0)
-Lance Evans (4-2-0)
-Karen Grigoryan (5-0-0)
-Jason Guida (26-13-0)
-Ryan Jimmo (6-1-0)
-Kyle Kingsbury (7-1-1)
-Tom Lawlor (6-2-0)
-Ryan Lopez (5-3-0)
-Vinicius Magalhaes (2-2-0)
-Eric Magee (3-1)
-Eliot Marshall (5-1-0)
-Sean O’Connell (1-0-0)
-Shane Primm (1-0-0)
-Krzysztof Soszynski (16-8-1)