the-ultimate-fighter-13-tryouts-dana-white-joe-silva-1.jpgOpen fighter tryouts for “The Ultimate Fighter 18? are slated for April 15 in Las Vegas, and both 135-pound men and women are invited.

Las Vegas’ Palace Station Hotel & Casino plays host to the tryouts, which features women athletes for the first time in the long-running reality competition series’ history.

UFC officials today released the new details for the session. Registration begins at 8 a.m. PT local time on the day of the tryouts.

The show is expected to tape and debut later this year, though it’s not certain if the series will air on its current home of FX or the soon-to-debut FOX Sports 1 channel.

As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, “The Ultimate Fighter 18? features UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey as coach against the winner of April’s Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano bout at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.

At the open tryouts, fighters typically demonstrate their striking and grappling abilities to UFC President Dana White and matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby. Those who make it beyond the initial stage are interviewed by the show’s producers, and the advancing fighters are then flown to Las Vegas for medical screenings. Hopefuls need at least three pro fights, must have a winning record and must be at least 21 years old. An application is available on ufc.com/TUF18.

Currently in the middle of its 17th season, “The Ultimate Fighter” airs Tuesday nights on FX. 

“TUF” debuted in 2005 and has launched the UFC career of nearly 200 fighters. However, only males have served as head coaches and contestants. Bantamweights have been featured just once previously, when John Dodson emerged as the 135-pound winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 14.”

(Pictured: Joe Silva and Dana White)

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