Why Jon Madsen Is the Next Ultimate Fighter

Tommy MessanoContributor ISeptember 2, 2009

The UFC’s signature reality series The Ultimate Fighter returns for its 10th season on Wednesday, Sep. 16 on Spike TV.

Marketed as the "heaviest" season ever, this is the first time in the show’s history that it will feature an all heavyweight cast.

The gold team will coached by “Sugar” Rashad Evans, while the silver team is led by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson .

This article begins a 16-part preview of each of the 16 cast members.

The fighters are ranked on a one to five-star basis. A five-star rating means you are one of the favorites to win the show, while a two-star rating means you are a dark horse to make the finals.

The following rankings were originally posted at ultmma.com

Jon Madsen
South Dakota

Signature win: Aug. 16, 2008; five-round title fight versus Ryan Kotzea.

The stout Jon Madsen has more experience in the amateur wrestling world than MMA. Madsen wrestled at South Dakota State University, where he captured the Division II national championship in 2000.

A member of Matt Hughes HIT Squad, the highlight of 29-year-old Madsen's bio thus far appears to be a win versus UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in a high school wrestling match.  Lesnar would go on to avenge that loss in college.

Madsen fights at 240 pounds, and he is surprisingly agile and powerful for a man his size.  Don't discredit Madsen's wrestling-to-MMA transition; the three-time All American should be able to take down most heavyweights his size just through pure technique.

The South Dakota native has only been training in MMA for less than 18 months.

Tommy Messano is the editor-in-chief of www.ultmma.com .  His MMA articles have appeared on www.sherdog.com, www.wcl.com, Fight Ground Magazine and www.espn.com

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