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Fighter Names Released for ‘The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K.’


(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.

U.S. welterweights
• 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.

U.S. lightweights
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.
 
Jason Dent (19-9): A submission specialist, Dent runs his own gym in Mentor, Ohio, at Griffon Brawl. He is a UFC veteran who has losses to Roger Huerta and Gleison Tibau.
 
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.
 
Waylon Lowe (5-2): Lowe, 28, also fights for Gurgel.
 
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.
 
U.K. welterweights
• 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.
 
U.K. lightweights
• 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.

Cagepotato Comments

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CHRIS- March 28, 2009 at 6:42 am
MIKE BISBING,

Just thought i should let you know that im very disapointed to see the list of fighters on your team. The reason being that in the ultimate fighter that you were on to become what you are today had a fighter by the name of ross pointon. Even though he lost his fights he didn't care who he fought, he had heart. You should have him on you team. Good luck this season and hope to see you fight someone who could actually challenge you.
guamgrown- March 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm
alright!! lets see bigler rep Guam to the fullest!
WalksInTheDarkness- March 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm
Pickett is like a whole host of other fighters who want to make their own name in the sport rather than going through the rest of their career with the "TUF veteran" stamped above everything. Aside from that, he's also a feather weight which the UFC don't cover.

And yes, Abdul Mohammed would eat lots of light weights (he really is a mini Ian Freeman)!
spitfiremiles- March 10, 2009 at 8:00 am
CHE MILLS TO WIN!!!! RANGE FIGHTING ALL THE WAY
sHEPS- March 10, 2009 at 7:25 am
I love how the American team has like triple the fight experience of the British team, talk about fucking us over. They shoulda got Brad Pickett in there.
MKXii- March 10, 2009 at 5:08 am
Warcount kk bai.
Anonymous- March 10, 2009 at 4:16 am
I was under the impression Abdul Mohammed was to be in list. He deserves it and would definately win it.
671- March 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm
Watch out for Ryan "Biggs" Bigler! Much support to the Guam boys!
whatsup- March 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Can't wait for Bisping's reality check with Henderson.
WalksInTheDarkness- March 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm
I have to agree with Mantooth, a bunch of Americans with wrestling backgrounds versus a bunch of my countrymen with striking backgrounds. I see lots of dry humping victories in the future.

Also, I have to admit, I'm a little freaked out by both Che Mills and Alex "The Reidinator" Reid being on TUF. He's been fighting for a while over here. I only hope he concentrates on his ground game as his stand up is pretty damn good.

The later TUF shows really are random, showing a bunch of guys with lots of fight experience alongside a bunch of guys who have been fighting actively for a number of years. It really does make TUF look like the easy route on to the main stage (which is good for some of the experienced fighters but so many of the new ex-collegiate wrestlers don't deserve to be there.)
Anonymous- March 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm
Didn't Cameron Dollar play basketball at UCLA? Hendo beats Bisping.
Dante- March 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm
Steve, are you mad that Gurgel could break you? hahaha douche.
Mantooth- March 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm
U.S. Wrestler's vs U.K. Strikers.

U.S. should take this.
steve- March 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm
hey jorge gurgel- remember this moment- it's the only time you and the word 'popular' have shared a sentence. you made it! way to go bro!
Anonymous- March 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm
Ross Pearson is from my town. Do we know if they are still filming the series? Cos according to his facebook page hes back in the UK?
Ample- March 9, 2009 at 2:55 pm
Whats up with Bispings devil horn/bumps on either side of his receeding hairline? Might want to get that check out bub....that light does nothing for you.
funktard- March 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm
Where is Junie's brother?
PoleVault1543- March 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm
Ray Elbe's profile says he fought Diego Sanchez once too. How do they determine whether the guy has too much experience? It says that Jason Dent is a UFC veteran. I guess if you lose even in the UFC you can still go to TUF and beat on some kids lol, or maybe shouldn't have made it into UFC to begin with.
Anonymous- March 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm
Not into it.
Machete for hands- March 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm
fuck yea!!! im all pumped up for this new season!! ohh and i hope efrain kicks that foos ass on fight night
Joe Rogan- March 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm
No Dickhead.
U just mixed up the fighters.
Bisping is the winner.
Mike Goldberg- March 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm
And heeeere weeee go!

us team, clean sweep. Hendo unanimous D over bisping.

and it is alllll over!
CanadianProduce- March 9, 2009 at 1:48 pm
Major Dilemma ALERT!!!!!!!Who will Rampage guest coach for?
LucklessCebu- March 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm
I have to question Yahoo's journalism when they think Renato Verissimo is a more notable name than Diego Sanchez...
Englishman- March 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm
The American Team is going to get the beating of a lifetime.
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