UFC: TUF 11 Lineup Is Set to Go
Former light heavyweight champions Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will be the coaches for season No. 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter," the wildly popular reality series that airs on Spike TV.
In this latest edition, 28 fighters will be vying for 14 spots in the TUF house, which is littered with cameras as well. The fighter who wins will get cash and a contract with the UFC, although past experience has shown us that even some of those who don't win have a UFC future.
The first episode airs on March 31.
Let's say a few words about all of the cast members, shall we?
Kyle Noke , from Australia, is one of the most experienced competitors, with 21 career fights, and the one with the most credentials. Back in 2007, he fought to a draw with Hector Lombard, who has since gone on to win the Bellator middleweight title.
Kyacey Uscola is more well-traveled than Noke, and as recently as September, the two faced off in Puerto Rico, with Noke winning a decision. Uscola has faced some accomplished people, including Akira Shoji, Gegard Mousasi and current UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen. With 18 wins and 15 losses, the Idaho native has to be considered a journeyman.
Chris Camozzi is another guy who's been around; the Denver-area resident has had 14 pro fights, and two of them were against former competitors in TUF—Jesse Forbes and Jesse Taylor.
Josh Bryant is one of those guys coming to TUF who needs to prove that he is a legitimate contender. Bryant has chalked up a 10-0 record in MMA action, but he's been competing in smaller promotional organizations.
Ben Stark is one of the least experienced fighters in the competition. The Orthodox Jew, who calls himself "The Hebrew Hammer," has four pro fights but has not fought in three years.
Brad Tavares is the youngest competitor and has four KO's in four fights. He is currently a member of the TapouT team.
Seth Baczynski spent much of his early career in Rage in the Cage and has some International Fight League experience behind him. He's posted four straight wins, but has fought only once in the last year and a half.
Jacen Flynn has been out of active MMA competition for the last three years, but he holds a big win over Denis Kang. He's a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Charles Blanchard , who has a 7-2 record, is a brown belt.
Paris native Norman Paraisy has lost only once as a professional and that was to former UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne.
Nick Ring is one of Canada's hopes here and is one of the fighters who has the most promising future. He was, at one time, Canada's national Muay Thai champion and a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a great submission grappler and will bring a well-rounded repertoire to the competition.
Brent Cooper of Long Beach, CA, who brings a 5-1 record to TUF, is probably going to rely on his striking skills, for which he has received rave reviews.
Court McGee has beaten a former TUF runner-up, DaMarques Johnson, and has lost only once in 10 fights, to wily veteran Jeremy Horn.
Out of the same gym comes Jordan Smith , who has not lost in 10 pro bouts and has also had one winning bout as a professional boxer.
Kris McCray , a mean-looking dude who grew up in Germany, has taken out all five opponents in the first round.
Charley Lynch , who brings a look that TUF fans will certainly remember, does him one better, with six straight first-round wins.
Costantinos Phillipou is on a five-fight winning streak after losing his pro debut, and he is a protege of former UFC welterweight champ Matt Serra. Phillipou is the only opponent to defeat another TUF 11 contestant, Victor O'Donnell (8-1), who lives and trains in the Cincinnati area.
Woody Weatherby is a former Naval officer who trains at Renzo Gracie's gym for MMA and Mickey Ward's gym for boxing.
Rich Attonito , who fights out of the American Top Team gym in Florida, wrestled on the collegiate level at Hofstra University, and he's won seven of his 10 pro fights.
Like Attonito, Cleburn Walker , with a record of 9-3, also works full-time in MMA, as this submission artist is not only a protege of Travis Lutter, but also an instructor for him.
Greg Rubello , who comes out of Massachusetts, is 9-2, with seven straight victories.
Clayton McKinney is one of many Florida-based competitors in this series. This black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has won four of his six pro bouts, losing to Steve Bruno and Danillo Villefort, who have both fought in the UFC.
Warren Thompson is a Georgia resident who has beaten all five of his opponents, but like many that are in TUF, he's been largely untested.
The same might be said for Jamie Yager , who grew up in Pasadena and has won two of his three pro bouts. Yager appeared on the BET show "Iron Ring" a couple of years ago.
James Hammortee had four fights during 2009, all victories. Two of them lasted less than 10 seconds, so you just know this firefighter is going to receive stiffer competition in TUF.
Lyle Steffens is also a firefighter; that is, when he's not training under MMA veteran Don Frye. He's won five of his seven bouts.
Joseph Henle ought to know how to invest his prize money; he's got an MBA from California Lutheran University, where he played football.
Who's going to win that prize money? Tune in starting March 31 and let's find out together.
TUF MMA Futures Provided by BetUS.com
Ben Stark +1500
Brad Tavares +1500
Brent Cooper +1000
Charles Blanchard +1800
Charley Lynch +1200
Chris Camozzi +1200
Clayton McKinney +900
Cleburn Walker +1200
Costantinos Philippou +800
Court McGee +1200
Greg Rebello +1200
Jacen Flynn +1200
James Hammortree +1500
Jamie Yager +1500
Jordan Smith +1200
Joseph Henle +1800
Josh Bryant +700
Kris McCray +800
Kyacey Uscola +800
Kyle Noke +600
Lyle Steffens +1200
Nick Ring +1500
Norman Paraisy +1000
Rich Attonito +1500
Seth Baczynski +1500
Victor O'Donnell +1800
Warren Thompson +1500
Woody Weatherby +900