UFC.com released the cast for the upcoming 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter Thursday afternoon.
Coached by rival heavyweights Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, the season will host a cast of welterweights. The last time this happened was in the 13th season, which coincidentally enough, was also coached by heavyweights (Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos).
Here are the 32 cast members announced for the season, which will see them fight an opening round to earn a spot in the house.
Bristol Marunde, 30, Las Vegas, Nev.
Cameron Diffley, 27, Las Vegas, Nev.
Colton Smith, 25, Fort Hood, Texas via Ankeny, Iowa
Cortez Coleman, 30, Hugo, Okla.
David Michaud, 23, Pine Ridge, S.D.
Diego Bautista, 26, Lakewood, Calif.
Dom Waters, 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Eddy Ellis, 29, Olympia, Wash.,
Frank Camacho, 23, Camp Springs, Md.,
George Lockhart, 29, Atlanta, Ga.
Igor Araujo, 31, Albuquerque, N.M. via Patos De Minas, Brazil
James Chaney, 25, Klamath Falls, Ore.
Jason South, 34, West Jordan, Utah
Jerel Clark, 23, Reno, Nev.
Jesse Barrett, 26, Tempe, Ariz.
Joey Rivera, 32, Tucson, Ariz.
Jon Manley, 26, Ludlow, Mass.
Julian Lane, 25, Mansfield, Ohio
Kevin Nowaczyk, 23, Chicago, Ill.
Leo Kuntz, 28, Bismarck, N.D.
Lev Magen, 25, Las Vegas, Nev.
Matt Secor, 25, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
Max Griffin, 26, Sacramento, Calif.
Michael Hill, 25, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Mike Ricci, 26, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Neil Magny, 24, Chicago, Ill.
Nic Herron-Webb, 22, Anchorage, Alaska
Ricky Legere Jr., 26, Corona, Calif.
Saad Awad, 23, San Bernardino, Calif.
Sam Alvey, 26, Murrieta, Calif.
Tim Ruberg, 30, Harrison, Ohio
Zane Kamaka, 23, Klaianae, Hawaii
In looking at the initial cast, there are several noticeable names among the fray.
There are several Strikeforce veterans that will fight to get into the house. Among those veterans are Bristol Marunde, best remembered for his late notice loss to Ronaldo Souza a few months back; Ricky Legere, Jr., who beat Chris Spang in his latest bout and Strikeforce debut; and Saad Awad, who is currently on a three-fight win streak since his lone Strikeforce loss.
Also on the cast are several notable Bellator veterans. Sam Alvey, who participated in the season five welterweight tournament, finds himself on the cast. Another Bellator tournament veteran, Mike Ricci, is best known as a training partner of Georges St. Pierre.
All in all, this looks like a pretty solid season with some underrated talent. With names like Diego Bautista and George Lockhart gracing the cast, there is a good chance that this will be a good season of The Ultimate Fighter.
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