TUF 5: Where Are They Now?
BJ Penn made pretty big news recently by agreeing to coach The Ultimate Fighter against nemesis Frankie Edgar.
The last time he took on that role was in 2007, when he coached opposite Jens Pulver for TUF 5, an all-lightweight season that produced a remarkable crop of talent for the UFC.
And where are they now, you're almost certainly asking? Where have all these talented dudes ended up?
Well, let's take a look.
The Forgotten Names
Allen Berube: The man they called "The Monstah" didn't exactly become a houshold name. He's 4-3 and inactive since 2010, and hasn't ever beaten a guy you've heard of.
Bryan Geraghty: Highly active on the regional circuit, Geraghty is 26-18 in his career. His only UFC showing was a loss to Matt Wiman.
Marlon Sims: Hasn't won a fight since 2006, sitting at 3-4 in his career.
Wayne Weems: Despite a 12-2 career mark, he's essentially been inactive since he appeared on the show back in 2007.
The Not-Quite Forgotten Names
Corey Hill: Definitely better remembered for barking like a dog and lying about his career experience to get in the house, Hill last fought in December and fell to 6-5. He went 1-2 in the UFC, and did this too.
Brandon Melendez: Sits at 25-23 in his career, 0-1 in the UFC after a loss to Joe Lauzon. Last appearance was a regional win in May.
Noah Thomas: Sits at 14-7 in his career, though he hasn't competed since a 2009 loss to Scott Jorgensen. Fought twice under the Zuffa banner for WEC, but went 0-2.
Andy Wang: The owner of a 7-8 record and without an appearance since 2011, Wang is 36-years-old now. He hasn't won since 2009, but at least you can think of him every time you hear the phrase "stand and wang."
No longer in the UFC fold, the 12-10 Emerson had a good run in the promotion as a guy who would always put on a good fight. He was released in 2010, fighting seven times in the UFC and posting a 3-3 (1) record.
Don't let the record fool you though, he was always a favorite of Dana White and Joe Silva based on his attitude and style.
Ruediger is best remembered as a guy who thought colonics were more viable weight-cutting options than just not eating any cake before a fight. That was eventually proven wrong, and he was basically shamed out of the UFC.
He made a return on short notice to fight Joe Lauzon in Boston in 2010, a fight that he lost in incredibly short order. Another loss, to Paul Taylor, put him on the chopping block with an 0-3 record all-time in the promotion, and he hasn't been back.
Miller has been a UFC staple since appearing on the show, fighting at lightweight and featherweight with mixed results. He's 7-6 in the promotion, but is another lock to put on a good show any time he's in the cage.
He has, however, lost three of his last four and most recently dropped a decision to castmate Manny Gamburyan. If he shows up on the wrong side of the ledger one more time, he could be on the regional circuit for the first time since 2006.
Wiman, a UFC regular since 2006, is 9-4 in the promotion and seems to be coming into his own as he enters his thirties. He's shown steady improvement and development in the cage, and has had success against all but the best lightweight has to offer.
Though his last appearance was a loss to TJ Grant, there's little reason to think that he won't be back on track as 2013 comes to a close.
Lauzon has made himself a rich man in his time after the house, routinely collecting bonus checks for wild scraps and remarkable finishes. The jiu-jitsu ace may never get to the top of the lightweight heap, but he's had fifteen fights in the UFC and posted a 9-6 record.
Considering that fact, and that he's probably the most enjoyable guy to watch on the roster, J-Lau's doing alright.
A perennial contender at 155lbs., Maynard has been painfully close to holding gold on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, he couldn't best Frankie Edgar during his reign, and now he's an aging veteran looking for one last chance.
He'll get it against the man who beat him in the TUF house, Nate Diaz, in November.
Gamburyan was the victim of an unfortunate shoulder injury in the final of TUF 5, one that cost him the chance to win the tournament. Still, he went on to a stellar career in the WEC and found his way back to the UFC once his natural weight class of 145-pounds was folded into the promotion.
He's fresh off a win over fellow castmate Cole Miller in August, contested at featherweight.
The man who won it all back when he was still just Nick's little brother, Diaz has gone 11-7 in a UFC career that's seen him fight in two weight classes and challenge for the lightweight title. All in all he's been not only among the most successful of his castmates, but among the most successful to ever win a season of the show.
Still only 28, the younger Diaz has plenty of time to get back in the mix and he'll try to do just that against former housemate Gray Maynard later this year.