UFC is officially bringing back The Ultimate Fighter with coaches Alex Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
The Return of the Ultimate Fighter will air on ESPN+ with UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski and challenger Ortega serving as coaches. Take a look below at the press release which includes the names of the men's bantamweight and middleweights competing.
The highly anticipated The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega will see UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 contender Brian Ortega coach men’s bantamweights and middleweights competing to make the UFC roster. Following the series, which exclusively debuts Tuesday, June 1 on ESPN+, the two coaches will prepare to square off for the featherweight title at a date that will be determined in the near future.
The Return of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 29) will feature a dynamic cast of 16 ascending athletes in the men’s bantamweight (135 lbs.) and middleweight (185 lbs.) divisions, who have put everything else in their lives aside for the chance to pursue their UFC dreams.
The entire twelve episode season of TUF 29 will be available exclusively on ESPN+, with one episode dropping each Tuesday beginning June 1. In addition, UFC fans can re-watch all 28 previous seasons of TUF on ESPN+, the industry-leading sports streaming service, with entire seasons premiering on the service each week through the end of May for bingeable viewing.
The Ultimate Fighter is the iconic reality television series that has introduced millions of new and die-hard fans to future UFC champions and top contenders. Those whose careers have been shaped by their participation in The Ultimate Fighter include: Kamaru Usman, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Rose Namajunas, Michael Bisping, Robert Whittaker, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, T.J. Dillashaw, Matt Serra, Michael Chiesa, Al Iaquinta, Kelvin Gastelum, Uriah Hall and many others.
Undisputed UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, New South Wales, Australia) is unbeaten in almost eight years, including nine straight wins in the UFC. Volkanovski proved himself as one of UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with two title fight victories over Max Holloway, along with dominant performances against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins. Volkanovski now hopes to experience the same type of success in his first opportunity as a head coach.
Ortega (15-1, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) is determined to make 2021 the year his UFC title dreams become a reality. Two years removed from his first title challenge, Ortega hopes to apply the same skills that helped him defeat the likes of Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano, to foster the careers of future UFC stars.
Below is a full list of competitors scheduled to compete in The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega (name, age, professional record and fighting out of):
Daniel Argueta 27 5-0 Chicago, IL
Brady Hiestand 21 4-1 Spokane, WA
Dustin Lampros 26 5-0 Deerfield Beach, FL
Vince Murdock 30 11-6 Sacramento, CA
Mitch Raposo 22 5-0 Fall River, MA
Joshua Rettinghouse 31 16-5 Spokane, WA
Liudvik Sholinian 30 9-1 Kiev, Ukraine
Ricky Turcios 27 10-2 Houston, TX
Aaron Phillips 29 5-1 Kotzbue, AK
Andre Petroski 29 5-1 Philadelphia, PA
Bryan Battle 26 4-1 Charlotte, NC
Ryder Newman 25 3-1 Las Vegas, NV
Tresean Gore 26 3-0 Decatur, GA
Miles Hunsinger 30 7-0 Las Vegas, NV
Kemran Lachinov 30 10-3 West Springfield, MA
Gilbert Urbina 25 6-1 Rio Grande Valley, TX
*All athletes are subject to change