TUF 18 doesn't premiere until next week, but the UFC already has its search for season 19's edition of The Ultimate Fighter underway. Yesterday before the UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 weigh-ins, Joe Silva and Sean Shelby observed over 80 fighters hoping to get on the UFC's staple reality show. Three names stand out from the tryouts:
- Lyman Good (15-3). Bellator's first and only other welterweight champion besides Ben Askren. He left the MMA cage earlier this year to fight on Muay Thai cards.
- Cathal Pendred (13-2-1). The Cage Warriors welterweight champion defended his title by beating former UFC killer and current elite fighter Che Mills. Pendred is unbeaten in his last 8 fights and also holds a win over former UFC fighter David Bielkheden.
- Chris Fields (10-5-1). Fields, a teammate of Pendred, is the former CWFC middleweight titlist, but he lost it to Jesse Taylor by submission to end 2012. The Irishman has just 1 win in his last 4 fights.
MMA Junkie has more details on some of the other notables:
Along with Good, Pendred and Fields, other notables at Tuesday's tryouts included four-fight Strikeforce veteran Lumumba Sayers (6-4); six-fight Bellator vet Luis Palomino (21-8) - fighting up from his regular home at lightweight; Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight standout Dhiego Lima (8-1), brother of Bellator's Douglas Lima; and unbeaten three-fight Bellator vet Kelvin Tiller (6-0).
It's not uncommon to see fighters try to make their way onto the TUF roster by fighting out of their natural weight class and then dropping once the show is over, so it's no shock to see guys such as Palomino, Pendred, and Good all trying out despite being welterweights (in Palomino's case he's a lightweight).
TUF 19 is expected to debut in spring 2014 on Fox Sports 1. No coaches have been announced as of yet. The full cast will be revealed at a date TBD.