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Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes confirmed as coaches; full TUF 30 cast revealed

Peña and Nunes will rematch after TUF 30 is finished filming. 

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Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña during official weigh-ins for UFC 269.
Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña during official weigh-ins for UFC 269.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes are going to serve as coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Ariel Helwani reported Peña and Nunes were the front-runners to coach on the show. The report has now been confirmed by the newly crowned bantamweight champion, who announced Friday during an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show that she and the former champion will indeed be coaching teams on TUF 30. Once the season has finished filming, they will rematch sometime this year.

“I got my start in the UFC through this show called The Ultimate Fighter,” Peña told guest host Mario Lopez. “It’s a reality TV show [where] they pack all these fighters in the house, last woman standing wins. Out of 18 seasons, they never allowed women, so I was the first one to be on that show, The Ultimate Fighter. I won the whole season.

“And I’m going to be now giving back to these young fighters, I am going to be the coach on The Ultimate Fighter for this next season coming up,” continued Peña. “Amanda will be coaching alongside me, so it’s going to be me and Amanda’s teams. It’ll be my team vs. Amanda’s team and then at the end of the season, we’re going to rematch.”

Nolan King of MMA Junkie revealed that filming begins in mid-February, with contestants of the show already in Las Vegas completing pre-season medicals and COVID-19 testing. The UFC has since provided additional details in a press release.

TUF 30 will premiere on May 3 and air exclusively on ESPN+, the streaming service that hosted the much-anticipated return of the series after a three-year hiatus. The 12-episode season features 16 fighters — eight men’s heavyweights and eight women’s flyweights — competing for a UFC contract.

Here is the full list of contestants:

MEN’S HEAVYWEIGHTS

  • Nyle Bartling | 29 | 6-0 | Unadilla, NE
  • Chandler Cole | 27 | 8-3 | Coeburn, VA
  • Jordan Heiderman | 30 | 5-0 | Norfolk, NE
  • Bobby Maximus | 43 | 5-4 | Salt Lake City, UT
  • Zac Pauga | 33 | 5-0 | Denver, CO
  • Eduardo Perez | 27 | 4-1 | Berkeley, CA
  • Mitchell Sipe | 25 | 5-2 | Bakersfield, CA
  • Mohammed Usman | 32 | 7-2 | Denver, CO

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHTS

  • Chantel Coates | 34 | 2-1 | Leavenworth, KS
  • Claire Guthrie | 26 | 3-1 | Denver, CO
  • Juliana Miller | 25 | 2-1 | San Diego, CA
  • Kaytlin Neil | 30 | 5-4 | Lindon, UT
  • Kathryn Paprocki | 28 | 3-2 | Denver, CO
  • Melissa Parker | 35 | 2-1 | Houston, TX
  • Helen Peralta | 33 | 4-2 | Fairfield, IA
  • Brogan Walker | 32 | 7-2 | Guam

Peña and Nunes met at UFC 269, where the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ dethroned the ‘Lioness’ via second-round rear-naked choke in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.