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Cast for eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” unveiled

SI.com, courtesy of Spike TV, has revealed the names of the 32 fighters invited to Las Vegas by the UFC to compete for the 16 final spots on the eighth season of the hit reality television show “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Last season saw 32 middleweights compete for the right to become the next “Ultimate Fighter” but this year the season has been broken down into two weight classes: light heavyweight and lightweight with 16 fighters in each weight class once again going through a qualifying round of fights to earn a spot in the final eight and the opportunity to move into the TUF mansion.

Serving as the coaches for TUF 8 will be current UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former champion and current number one contender Frank Mir.

The show will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 11:00 p.m. ET immediately following UFC Fight Night 15 from Omaha, Nebraska.

The full cast of 32 with our notes is available after the jump.

Light Heavyweight:

  • Ryan Bader: 24-years old; 7-0; Arizona Combat Sports
  • Antwain Britt: 29-years old; 4-0; Bombsquad MMA
  • Jules Bruchez: 30-years old; 3-2; Ronin Dojo
  • Lance Evans: 30-years old; 4-2; TKO MMA
  • Karen Grigoryan: 26-years old; 5-0; RusFighters Sports Club
  • Jason Guida: 30-years old; 26-13; Hellhouse Gym
  • Ryan Jimmo: 26-years old; 6-1; Titans MMA
  • Kyle Kingsbury: 26-years old; 7-1-1; American Kickboxing Academy
  • Tom Lawlor: 24-years old; 6-2; American Top Team
  • Ryan Lopez: 25-years old; 5-3; no gym affiliation
  • Vinicius Magalhaes: 23-years old; 2-2; Team Quest (Temecula)
  • Eric Magee: 23-years old; 3-1; South Shore Sport Fighting
  • Eliot Marshall: 27-years old; 5-1; Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Sean O’Connell: 24-years old; 1-0; no gym affiliation
  • Shane Primm: 23-years old; 1-0; Gracie Tampa
  • Krzysztof Soszynski: 30-years old; 16-8-1; Team Quest (Temecula)

Notes: TUF 8 is getting into the brother act as both Guida and Evans have younger brothers competing in the UFC. Lance Evans is of course the older brother of UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans and Jason Guida is indeed the brother of UFC lightweight Clay Guida… The selection of Primm means that this is four seasons in a row in which a fighter from Rob Kahn’s Gracie Tampa school has been chosen for the TUF cast. Primm joins Alan “Monsta Lobsta” Berube, Matt Arroyo, and Brandon Sene as Kahn students to appear on the show… Soszynski is a former heavyweight competitor in the IFL. UFC President Dana White was extremely critical of the IFL while it was in existence but the UFC hasn’t been shy about recruiting their former fighters… Keep an eye on Bader. He comes from Trevor and Todd Lally’s Arizona Combat Sports, the same gym where C.B. Dalloway, Jamie Varner, Steve Steinbess, Ray Steinbeiss, and other top MMA fighters train.

Lightweight:

  • Jose Aguilar: 25-years old; 17-3; Grapplers Edge
  • Fernando Bernstein: 25-years old; 2-0; Progressive Martial Arts
  • Junie Allen Browning: 22-years old; 2-0; Four Seasons Martial Arts
  • Rolando Delgado: 26-years old; 7-3-1; Westside Fight Team
  • Joseph Duarte: 24-years old; 3-0; Unleashed Training Facility
  • Charles Diaz: 30-years old; 14-4; Team EFX
  • Efrain Escudero: 22-years old; Southwest Martial Arts
  • Brandon Garner: 26-years old; 4-1; Team ROC
  • David Kaplan: 28-years old; 3-1; Team Lloyd Irvin
  • Brian McLaughlin: 23-years old; 5-0; Gracie Tampa
  • Wesley Murch: 25-years old; 4-2; Trojan Gym
  • Shane Nelson: 24-years old; 11-3; B.J. Penn’s MMA Academy
  • Phillipe Nover: 24-years old; 5-0-1; Team Renzo Gracie
  • Ido Pariente: 30-years old; 13-4; no gym affiliation
  • John Polakowski: 26-years old; 3-1; The Pit
  • George Roop: 26-years old; 7-3; Ultima MMA

Notes: McLaughlin gives Gracie Tampa two fighters on the TUF cast in one season… Pariente is the same fighter who got smashed by Jake Shields in June of 2007 in Los Angeles during FEG’s infamous “Dynamite USA!!” Pariente was born and resides in Israel and has a great back story. He’s a better fighter than he showed vs. Shields… Nelson is considered to be one of B.J. Penn’s better prospects… Polakowski is one of Chuck Liddell’s teammates at “The Pit” with John Hackleman in San Luis Obispo.

Feel free to comment and add any insight you have on the fighters listed here.

26 COMMENTS
  • rolltide says:

    Christ, another Evans? Is that really what the world needs Dana?

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  • Zack with a ck says:

    So who is the 155 lb version of Anderson Silva that Dana was ranting about?

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  • Zack with a ck says:

    Ok, so I’m seeing elsewhere that Duarte is the stud that Dana was making a big deal out of.

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  • BJJDenver says:

    Sam,

    Eliot Marshall is from EASTON BJJ, as in Amal Easton, in Boulder, CO.

    Former Ring of Fire LHW champ, and very accomplished in the BJJ world. He also trains at Jackson’s with Rashad, Jardine, GSP, Marquardt, etc…

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  • sven says:

    Seems like they picked alot less guys with mediocre records this time around.

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  • BJJDenver says:

    Sven,

    I think that could be due to having half the number of contestants. I like the dual weight classes, it seems a little less diluted that way.

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  • Dave says:

    In only partially related business, I was thinking the other day that CB Dollaway must have broken some sort of record this year with the UFC. He fought 6 times on TUF, which is definitely a record, because he had a play-in fight (32 to 16), a bonus fight (after JT got booted), and then made it to the finals on top of that. Then he fought AGAIN a month after the finale. I can’t figure out when TUF taped, but if it was this year, that’s 7 fights in 7 months, all under the UFC banner (even if some were ‘exhibitions). Has anyone else ever done anything like that, even in the tournament days? Anyone? Sam?

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  • Dave says:

    John Polakowski’s 3 listed fights have all come against Olaf Alfonso. He seems to fight Olaf once a year. How bizarre.

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  • Justin B says:

    I believe it is Duarte who is suspose to be the man.

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  • Mike C. says:

    The Polakowski-Alfonso fights were fun as hell to watch but he got hosed in the first fight. He should be undefeated.

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  • McEwen says:

    Ryan Jimmo is from my hometown and once kicked my friend in the face for no reason.

    Just thought I’d share.

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  • Bill Lumberg says:

    Ryan Jimmo also won a fight by the famous hungariion yank and pull.

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  • chris nuckolls says:

    tom lawlor is 5-1-1. One dq and one no contest due to broken cage. Just letting you know.

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  • Nate says:

    It took me a long time to catch up with the shows. Now that I am caught up.. I really miss watching.

    For me, this is one of the few “collegiate” feeling nationally available shows for MMA. I like the behind the scenes of the host fighters, and insight on the sport & lifestyle.

    I am also a fan of Big Nog & am curious to see how much of his personality shows.

    I cant wait.

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  • B-Diddy says:

    I’m surprised to see Krzysztof Soszynski in the list, they may as well have a PPV of UFC vs IFL with all their recent IFL signings

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  • darkmetal says:

    When will they have a TUF with some heavyweights? Perhaps the weakest division in the UFC?

    I get the feeling that Dana White thinks most heavyweights are boring, and he might have a point, but that doesn’t mean you don’t promote that division, does it?

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  • Scott White says:

    lol

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  • matt says:

    So based on that list who are the odds on favorites to win? each year has a mac danzig/joe stevenson/michael bisping/diego sanchez. who are this year’s?

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  • J Yappo says:

    Tom Lawlor!!!

    407 Represent

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  • kcabkcilsdemanpmipa says:

    The favorites are………

    Joe Duarte 155lb
    (thats the guy dana says is the next anderson Silva)
    http://www.cagepotato.com/2008/07/03/is-joe-duarte-the-next-anderson-silva/

    and the faovrite @ 205 is easily Krzysztof Soszynski

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  • RA says:

    FILTHY TOM LAWLOR

    ATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • flassassin says:

    Are you Coach Yappo’s son, from Lyman? 407 as in Central Florida?

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  • Duty Guy says:

    DAVE,

    Yeah CB Dalloway fought a lot, but they were all pretty quick fights, right? He got whooped real good by Amir . . . 2x with the same damn move, only you’d think he would get better, but it was Amir who got better. Then he fights JT Money and was getting beat down until he almost knocks him out with an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent. After that, JT was a freebie. CB is not that good and I can’t wait till they cut his ass from the UFC.

    Yo want to talk about fighting a lot, what’s Melvin Guillard’s record? He’s got something like 50 professional fights to his name and he’s only what, 24? That guy fights a lot. And when he’s focused he will murder you.

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  • croyalporter says:

    Hey, Sherdog’s Fight Finder has Karen Grigoryan listed as a 155 lber. Anybody know what’s up with that?

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  • croyalporter says:

    Oh yeah, and let’s see….early favorites:

    For LHW: Bader, Guida, Jimmo, Kingsbury, Soszynski

    For LW: Escudero, Garner, Nelson, Pariente, and Polakowski

    Lots more talent up front compared to last year’s. Of course, last year still provided us with some good fights, and Amir was 0-0 and was amazing, so maybe I shouldn’t complain. I’m just happy to see some good up-and-comers this season.

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  • {{The Answer}} says:

    Guida.. Jimmo.. Kingsbury.. Garner.. Pariente.. are not favorites.

    The Favorites are..
    @ LHW:
    Ryan Bader. Krzysztof Soszynski. Vinicius Magalhaes. Tom Lawlor

    @ LW:
    Junie Allen Browning. Efrain Escudero. Shane Nelson. Phillipe Nover

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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