CORRECTION: Cung Le was mistakenly reported as the individual coach for this season. He will in fact, be steering the season in a Dana White like role. The coaches are unknown as of yet.
The word is out. The UFC has officially released the cast of their TUF China offering. It's a list of names that will be almost entirely unknown to American audiences (and most likely global audiences as well) with one big name to kick the whole thing off. The show will be headlined by UFC middleweight and action movie star Cung Le. Le will be performing in Dana White's role, appearing at times to keep the show on track and provide advice to fighters and coaches throughout the season. The coaches for the show, are as of yet, unreported.
The show, titled Rookie Exposure in China, will most likely see fighters compete in the lightweight division as the cast features fighters who have spent their careers competing at anywhere between featherweight and welterweight. Of course they could be running a dual tournament format like they did with TUF Brazil 1, only time will tell.
Anyhow, here's a look at the cast:
- Albert Cheng
- Dong Xin
- He Wei Jian
- Li Jun Han
- Shih Liang
- Wang Sai
- Yang JianPing
- Zhang Lipeng
- Allen Chong
- Fu Chang Xin
- Li Jin Ying
- Ning Guang You
- An Ying Wang
- Wu Qi Ze
- Yao Zhi Kui
- Zhi Qing Xiang
Zhang Lipeng, Yang JianPing, and Wang Sai all have around ten recorded fights, but everyone else is pretty green. So, it should be interesting to see what, if any, actual high caliber talent shakes out of this show. Of course, as with most TUF seasons (and doubly so for international seasons) top talent isn't really the point as much as it is getting the UFC exposure with new audiences. If a couple of these fighters end up sticking around in the UFC and getting into some exciting scraps, that'd be a nice bonus.
The show's first episode will air at 10 PM (local time) on December 7th. It will be hosted by Chinese sportscaster and celebrity Huang Jianxiang. Be sure to stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more Ultimate Fighter news as well as breakdowns, interviews, announcements and event coverage for UFC 167.
More from Bloody Elbow:
- Brendan Schaub signs six-fight deal with UFC
- MMA Tete-A-Tete: UFC 167 and Bellator 108 preview/predictions with Kid Nate and Dallas
- UFC 167: St-Pierre vs. Hendricks pre-fight press conference video
- Ben Askren should get an immediate UFC welterweight title shot
- Anthony Pettis could be out up to six months with latest injury