New York, NY, December 7, 2009 – The 11th season of Spike TV’s most popular original series ever, “The Ultimate Fighter,” will feature two coaches who need no introduction to mixed martial arts fans. UFC legends Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Tito “The Huntington Beach Badboy” Ortiz will continue their storied rivalry with a return to the reality show that helped launch them into the American mainstream. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 10:00pm ET/PT featuring 16 of the best unsigned fighters in the middleweight (185 lbs) division. Liddell appeared as coach for the first season in January 2005 and Ortiz was a coach for season three in January 2006.
The new season goes into production in January 2010 in Las Vegas and will last six weeks. The cast will be announced in late February.
A native of Santa Barbara, CA, Liddell (21-7) was a standout wrestler at Cal Polytechnic State University where he graduated with a degree in Business/Accounting. Liddell was victorious in his first UFC fight in May, 1998 at UFC 17 and rose to fame in the sport of mixed martial arts with wins over such prominent fighters as Jeff Monson (UFC 29), Vitor Belfort (UFC 37.5), Renato Sobrol (UFC 40) and Ortiz (UFC 47). His career-defining victory occurred at UFC 52 in April 2005 as he defeated Randy Couture with a first round KO to win the UFC light heavyweight crown. Liddell held the belt for over two years before losing to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 71 in May, 2007.
A coach on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Liddell is considered by many to be the most popular mixed martial arts fighter of all time and has appeared in such pop culture outlets as “Dancing With The Stars,” “Entourage,” “The Simpsons” and the cover of ESPN The Magazine.
Ortiz, from Huntington Beach, CA, was a two-time All-American wrestler at Golden West College. Ortiz won his first bout in the Octagon at UFC 13 in May, 1997 and quickly established himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Ortiz’s landmark victory came against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 in Japan in April 2000 where he captured the UFC’s vacant light heavyweight title. Ortiz held the crown for 3.5 years until he was defeated in a grueling 5-round decision by Randy Couture at UFC 44 in September, 2003. After a loss to Liddell at UFC 47, Ortiz won five consecutive bouts, including two over nemesis and fellow coach of “The Ultimate Fighter 3,” Ken Shamrock. His winning streak was stopped by Liddell at UFC 66 in December 2006.
Like Liddell, Ortiz has emerged as a pop culture icon having appeared on the hit series, “Celebrity Apprentice.”