The UFC announced on Thursday that “The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K.” will be holding tryouts in Sydney on June 12 and in London on June 15 for fighters ranging from 135 to 170 pounds. Prospective competitors must be between 21 and 35 years old and have at least three professional fights.
The show is expected to be filmed in Australia and is nicknamed “The Smashes” in reference to the longstanding cricket rivalry between the two nations. It is currently unclear when taping will begin, but the program will likely stick to the tape-delayed format utilized in the first 14 seasons of the series. It is the second time in the seven-year history of “TUF” that prospective fighters will represent their country of origin; the first time took place during Season 9 of the series, when Team USA battled team U.K.
“Australia and the UK have a fierce, long-standing rivalry, and where better to settle the score than in the UFC’s Octagon?” said Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s managing director of international development. “The popularity of MMA has exploded in Australia and the U.K., with gyms opening all over their respective countries. There is an athlete in one of those gyms who hasn’t had the chance to show the world what he can do – ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is going give to him that opportunity. We’re going to discover the UFC’s future stars, you can bet on it.”
The first international edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” is currently airing in Brazil. Featuring Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as rival coaches, “TUF Brazil” reached 12 million viewers for its debut episode, according to the UFC release.