We’d take this with a grain of salt until the UFC makes an official announcement, but the usually-accurate U.K. paper The Sun says it has the names of all 16 castmembers for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. (Props to TheGarv for the tip.) Unfortunately, there are no more shocking additions — no Lashleys, no Petruzellis, no Quinns — just the usual gang of up-and-comers trying to make a name for themselves. We already knew that Kimbo Slice, Roy Nelson, Wes Sims, Marcus Jones, Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione, and Wes Shivers scored bunks in the TUF house. So who else is gonna be hunting for that six figure contract? Here’s the lowdown:
JIM YORK: "Nicknamed ‘Big,’ York shares one thing in common with Kimbo — he too has beaten Britain’s James Thompson. The 33-year-old New Zealander emerged victorious from their Sengoku 7 clash after KO’ing the Englishman in the opening round of their bout in March."
MIKE WESSEL: "The Ohio native has already fought in the UFC, losing to Antoni Hardonk via TKO at UFC 92 in the second round. However, it should be noted that Wessel only took that fight on a week’s notice, and UFC president Dana White was impressed enough to offer him a four-fight deal and place on season ten of TUF for his efforts."
SCOTT JUNK: "Another fighter with previous UFC experience. The 30-year-old lost via heel hook in the opening round of his UFC 72 bout against Hungarian Christian Wellisch in September 2007." [Ed. note: Junk may give Roy Nelson a run for his money as the fattest guy on TUF 10. Photographic evidence here.]
DARRILL SCHOONOVER: "An impressive 10-0 MMA record sets the big Texan apart from the rest of the cast. The 23-year-old is an early favourite to win the series and UFC contract." [Ed. note: His record is impressive, but his listed weight is 218 pounds, which could put him at a big disadvantage against some of the 265+ pound behemoths on the show.]
JON MADSEN: "Part of legendary UFC welterweight Matt Hughes‘ stable but only has one MMA fight to his name — a KO win over Cody Griffen earlier this month." [Ed. note: According to mixedmartialarts.com, he fought Griffen in May 2008.]
TOM BLACKLEDGE: "British MMA enthusiasts may already be familiar with Blackledge — he fights out of the Wolfslair in Widnes. He will be hoping to repeat the success of teammate Michael Bisping by winning TUF, but his 8-6 record suggests the odds may be against him." [Ed. note: Plus, he's another guy who should probably be fighting at light-heavyweight.]
ABE WAGNER: "Big Nebraskan holds a 6-2 professional MMA record and could be the surprise package of this season."