(PRESS RELEASE) -- Las Vegas, Nev. – On Wednesday, Sept. 4, history will be made as the Ultimate Fighting Championship®’s long-running reality series, The Ultimate Fighter®, makes its debut on America's new sports network, FOX Sports 1. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and No.1 title contender Miesha Tate serve as coaches in the first ever season to feature women as coaches and cast members. The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate kicks off with a two-hour premiere beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
In this 18th edition of the series, 16 men and 16 women bantamweight (135 lbs.) fighters will face off in the most challenging sports tournament on television. The premiere episode will determine the eight men and eight women who will successfully move into The Ultimate Fighter house and compete for a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a six-figure contract with the UFC®.
Catch a series preview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl0MSMgIW4g&feature=youtu.be
The successful fighters will then be divided into two teams, coached by Rousey and Tate respectively. The series will follow the teams as they live and train together in preparation for their fights. The coaches will then face off in the Octagon® for the women’s bantamweight title on Saturday, Dec. 28, at UFC® 168: WEIDMAN vs. SILVA at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“This season of The Ultimate Fighter was monumental, as we had women as coaches and competitors – fighting and living together with the men – for the first time ever,” UFC president Dana White said. “Obviously the fierce rivalry between Ronda and Miesha is going to get everyone’s attention, but it doesn’t take away from their dedication and success as coaches and the level of talent this season. One of the things that always makes The Ultimate Fighter great is the fights, and this season continues to deliver. Since we added the women’s division earlier this year, they’ve been putting on awesome fights, and the streak continues on the show, giving the men some serious competition and setting up some Fight-of-the-Night worthy battles.”
"FOX Sports 1 is now the exclusive home of the UFC. To have a show that packs this kind of power and gives our viewers a raw, emotional look into becoming an MMA professional is reality television at it's best. We can't wait for the September 4th premiere," said FOX Sports 1 Co-president Eric Shanks.
The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate will anchor FOX Sports 1’s UFC Wednesday block and run for 13 weeks. Each episode’s winners will advance in the single-elimination tournament, which will culminate in a three-hour finale, live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, November 30. Tickets set to go on sale to the public on October 11.
The list of finalists was trimmed from more than 200 applicants, with the final fighters hailing from the United States, Canada, England, Ireland and Sweden. The competitors are, in alphabetical order (Name, Professional MMA record, Age, Fighting Out Of):
Shayna Baszler (15-8), 33, Sioux Fall, S.D.
Revelina Berto, (3-1), 24, Winter Haven, Fla.
Jessamyn Duke (2-0, 1NC), 27, Richmond, Ky.
Tonya Evinger (11-6), 32, Lake St. Louis, Mo.
Laura Howarth (4-0), 26, Hove, East Essex, ENG
Tara LaRosa (21-3), 35, Albuquerque, N.M.
Valerie Letourneau (4-3), 30, La Prairie, CAN
Bethany Marshall (4-1), 25, Newport News, Va.
Sarah Moras (3-1), 25, Kelowna, CAN
Margaret “Peggy” Morgan (2-0), 33, Nashua, N.H.
Gina Mazany (3-0), 25, Seattle, Wash.
Roxanne Modafferi (15-10), 30, Yokohama, JPN
Julianna Pena (4-2), 24, Spokane, Wash.
Raquel Pennington (3-3), 24, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jessica Rakoczy (1-3), 36, Las Vegas, Nev.
Colleen Schneider (4-3), 31, Las Vegas, Nev.
Christopher Beal (7-0), 28, Somis, Calif.
Cody Bollinger (14-3), 22, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Louis Fisette (6-1), 23, Winnipeg, CAN
Rafael Freitas (6-0-1), 29, Albuquerque, N.M.
David Grant (8-1), 27, Bishop Auckland, ENG
Tim Gorman (9-2), 30, West Des Moines, Iowa
Anthony Gutierrez (4-0), 22, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Emil Hartsner (4-0), 23, Luberod, SWE
Joshua Hill (9-0), 26, Binbrook, CAN
Chris Holdsworth (4-0), 25, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Patrick Holohan (9-0-1), 25, Dublin, IRL
Sirwan Kakai (9-1), 23, Coconut Creek, Fla.
Daniel Martinez (18-4), 28, San Diego, Calif.
Matthew Munsey (4-1), 26, Hollywood, Fla.
Lee Sandmeier (9-0), 30, Knoxville, Iowa
Michael Wootten (6-0), 24, Liverpool, ENG
Many of today’s most recognizable names in the UFC have emerged from The Ultimate Fighter series, which also produced champions such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Matt Serra and season winners Michael Bisping, Ryan Bader and Nate Diaz.
For more show information, bios, videos and photos, visit ultimatefighter.com and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter under our new name @TUFonFS1 or on Facebook.com/TUF.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, moving to FOX Sports 1 in September 2013.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly 2.4 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, UFC FIT®, an in-home fitness and nutrition program, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club® affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.
FOX Sports 1 FOX Sports 1 is a new national 24-hour multi-sport channel launching on August 17 and boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. The channel has eight pillar sports: college basketball and football, MLB (in 2014), NASCAR, NFL (ancillary programs), USGA events including the U.S. Open (2015), soccer and UFC. College football is highlighted by regular season coverage of Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA games, while the college basketball spotlight shines on the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA and the Big East men’s basketball tournament. Starting in 2014, select MLB League Championship Series and Division Series games as well as regular season games are coming to the channel. FOX Sports 1 also carries select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events beginning in 2015; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races; the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; and all Speedweeks coverage, including Daytona 500 Qualifying, Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, (2014, 2017-22) the Budweiser Duel, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NCWTS Practice and Qualifying sessions. Additionally, FOX Sports 1 carries NASCAR RACEDAY, NASCAR VICTORY LANE and RACE HUB shows. The channel also carries the world’s most prolific club soccer competitions, like UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and CONCACAF Champions League, along with the world’s oldest soccer competition, the FA Cup; plus CONCACAF Gold Cup; CONCACAF Qualifiers, EURO 2016 Qualifiers; 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers; FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019; FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2018 and 2022. In addition to Saturday pay-per-view preliminary cards, Wednesday nights are home to the UFC with UFC TONIGHT, live events and THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER. In Feb. 2014, FOX Sports 1 partners with The Jockey Club for newly created package of nationally televised races featuring the leading horses in the country. FOX SPORTS LIVE is FOX Sports 1’s flagship 24/7 news, opinion and highlights program, providing around the clock coverage through regularly scheduled programs, hourly updates and an information rich ticker. Original programs include: FOX FOOTBALL DAILY, CROWD GOES WILD, a new live sports entertainment talk show hosted by Regis Philbin; and the groundbreaking BEING: documentary franchise. For more information visit www.FOXSports.com/FOXSports1.