The Ultimate Fighting Championship has revealed the 16 Australian and British mixed martial arts fighters who will represent their countries on the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK – The Smashes“.
The series, which will pit top up-and-coming lightweight (155 lbs.) and welterweight (170 lbs.) fighters from the two countries against one another in tournament-style competition, will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. AEST only on FOXTEL.
UFC President Dana White commented:
“These guys have definitely made the second international TUF show ‘can’t miss’ TV. Going into this thing, I had no idea just how much the Aussies and the Brits can’t stand losing to each other. Now I know.”
The 13-episode season will culminate in a live three-hour finale in December with two finalists competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Team Australia, led by coach George Sotiropoulos, consists of:
- Grant Blackler, 23, Sunshine Coast
- Patrick Iodice, 19, Gold Coast
- Richie Vaculik, 29, Sydney
- Ben Wall, 23, Brisbane
- Ben Alloway, 31, Gold Coast
- Xavier Lucas, 31, Perth
- Manuel Rodriguez, 27, Sydney
- Robert Whitaker, 21, Sydney
Team UK, led by coach Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson, consists of:
- Colin Fletcher, 29, Sunderland
- Norman Parke, 25, Bushmills, Nth Ireland
- Michael Pastou, 30, Essex
- Mike Wilkinson, 24, Leigh
- Luke Newman, 22, London
- Bola Omoyele, 30, London
- Valentino Petrescu, 30, Essex
- Brad Scott, 23, Melkshamhe
Reflecting on his team, Australian coach and TUF 6 veteran George Sotiropoulos said:
“It’s a really diverse group of guys on the team, but the thing that’s uniting them is that everyone’s motivated and focused. There’s a lot of personal and national pride at stake but they’re going into the competition with a positive attitude and are really pulling together as a team. I’m very impressed by their maturity.”
And about his team, British coach and TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson said:
“Having been where they are, I know exactly what the guys are facing. They’re taking it all in their stride and, despite being so far from home, they’re eager to prove themselves, so morale is high. They each bring unique strengths to the team so the sparks are really going to fly when they meet the Aussies in the Octagon.”
The first country vs. country season of The Ultimate Fighter took place back in 2009 with Team USA vs. Team UK. Viewers outside Australia will be able to tune-in and watch “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Australia vs. Team UK” on TUF.tv.
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