Dana White touts cast members from TUF 17, says there could be a champion from this season

Michael Cohen

Following what was widely regarded as the worst season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dana White has given much praise to the season 17 cast, and suggests there could be a champion coming from this group.

If there was ever a show in desperate need of high-caliber talent, it's American Idol The Ultimate Fighter. The 16th season saw record-low ratings, a clearly unhappy Dana White, a fittingly bad finale between Colton Smith and Mike Ricci, and of course the birth of "Let me bang, bro". A new season of TUF starts exactly 10 days from now, and Dana White made it clear that this season's cast is different. Via LA Times:

"There’ll definitely be more than two guys from this group signed to the UFC," White said. "There’s a bunch of beasts in here. We could have a champion here."

If you recall, only the semifinalists (Neil Magny and Jon Manley) and finalists from TUF 16 were signed by the UFC. Admittedly improving upon TUF 16 is setting a low bar, but White has made a point of saying this TUF cast is strong. A couple of weeks back he pinpointed a certain fighter (unidentified of course) who supposedly scared the crap out of everyone in the TUF house.

FX executive VP Chuck Saftler also pitched in his thoughts on this season's cast.

“This is going to be an amazing rookie class for the UFC,” Saftler said.

They obviously know what happened as this was taped a few months ago, so the public will get to see what they're talking about as far as the fighters as well as the coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. TUF 17 debuts on FX on Tuesday, January 22nd at 8 PM ET/PT. Maybe the best gauge of how good the cast is should probably be made after the first 2-3 shows, as typically the season debut "entry round" brings out the most entertainment before slowly declining.

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