(Boooooooo! U-S-A! U-S-A!)
Yahoo! Sports has revealed the 32 castmembers for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, which will pit a group of American fighters (coached by Dan Henderson) against a group of fighters from the U.K. (coached by Michael Bisping). Featuring welterweights and lightweights, "TUF 9" will premiere on April 1st, directly following UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann. Here’s what Yahoo! dug up about the upcoming crop of UFC hopefuls.
• Ryan Biglar (2-1): Biglar, 24, is a jiu-jitsu fighter originally from Guam who represents the Cobra Kai in Las Vegas.
• Ray Elbe
(20-11): A Muay Thai fighter, the 25-year-old Elbe has spent the last three years working on his game in Phuket, Thailand. The most notable man he’s faced was Renato Verissimo, who knocked him out in 2003.
• Christian Fulgium
(6-2-1): A wrestler, Fulgium represents the Gladiator camp in Lafayette, La.
• DaMarques Johnson
(13-6): Johnson took up MMA training while in the military. Training out of Elite Performance in Salt Lake City, Johnson once faced former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion Brock Larson
, who submitted him in a 2005 bout.
• Kevin Knabjian
(10-3-1): A wrester from Eastern Illinois University, the same school that produced UFC star Matt Hughes
, the one-time WEC fighter trains at Gilbert Grappling in Chicago.
• Mark Miller
(10-4): A Muay Thai fighter also based in Chicago, Miller trains at Dino Costeas MMA and Toro Muay Thai.
• Jason Pierce
(9-0): A one-time collegiate soccer player, Pierce trains with the vaunted Miletich Fighting Systems camp in Bettendorf, Iowa.
• Kiel Reid (8-1): A native of Bettendorf, Reid also trains with Miletich, whose experience includes a 2004 fight against UFC veteran Luigi Fiorvanti.
After the jump: the rest of the American fighters, and Team Bisping.
• Paul Bird
(4-1): A striker, Bird trains at Des Moines (Iowa) MMA. He has fought in the Midwest Cage Championships promotion.
• Santino DeFranco
(13-4): A wrestler and jiu-jitsu specialist, DeFranco has experienced fighting in the now-defunct International Fight League. He also helped coach Efrain Escudero
, the TUF 8 winner.
• Cameron Dollar
(4-1): Dollar trains in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is a former teammate of TUF alums Cory Hill and Noah Thomas.
• Tom Hayden
(4-0): A submission fighter, Hayden is trained by popular UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel
in West Chester, Ohio.
• Josh Souder
(7-2): A member of Team Prodigy, Souder has faced castmate Jason Dent in 2005, losing by TKO.
• Richie Whitson
(4-0): A native Alaskan who trains with Team Quest in Temecula, Calif., Whitson is a heavy-handed striker.
• Dean Amarasinghe (4-1): A grappler from Nottingham, England, Amarasinghe trains at Rough House Gym.
• James Bateman (2-1): A striker, Bateman trains at Grimsby NHB in Grimsby, England.
• David Faulkner
(2-1): A member of the Wolfslair team that features U.K. coach Michael Bisping and UFC star Quinton Jackson
, Faulkner is a submissions expert.
• Tommy Maguire (5-2): The 20-year-old Maguire is a striker who works with the Tsunami Gym in Wisbech, England.
• Che Mills
(7-2): A tall welterweight at 6-foot-2, Mills works with ex-UFC fighter Mark Weir’s Range Fighting Gym.
• Nicholas Osipczak
(3-0): Osipczak trains in London with Pancrase UK. He’s finished all of his fights in the first round.
• Alex Reid
(10-9-1): Reid, 33, trains in London with the London Shoot Fighters. He’s faced notable opponents such as Murilo Rua, Tony Fryklund, Dave Menne and Jorge Rivera
• James Wilks
(5-2): Trained by veteran Eric Paulson in Orange County, Calif., the 30-year-old Wilks is a striker.
• James Bryan (3-1): A striker, Bryan, 25, is from Somerset, England.
• Dan James (3-0): A striker from Swansea, Wales, he’s finished two of his three pro bouts.
• Gary Kelly
(2-1): A striker, the 25-year-old Kelly trains alongside Bisping and Jackson at Wolfslair in Liverpool, England.
• Jeff Lawson
(13-2): A submission fighter with 12 finishes, Lawson trains with Team Bulldog in Dorset, England.
• Ross Pearson
(9-3): A striker, Pearson trains at Sunderland Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Club in Sunderland, England.
• Martin Stapleton
(5-1): A Muay Thai fighter, Stapleton is a product of Quannum Combat Arts.
• A.J. Wenn (7-2): A well-rounded fighter from the Tsunami Gym, Wenn is from Cambs, England.
• Andre Winner
(9-2-1): Winner is a member of the Rough House team in London and is coming off a loss and a draw in his two fights prior to appearing on the show.