The next international version of “The Ultimate Fighter” will
eventually be heading Down Under.
The UFC announced on Thursday that “The Ultimate Fighter: Australia
vs. U.K.” will be holding tryouts in Sydney on June 12 and in
London on June 15 for fighters ranging from 135 to 170 pounds.
Prospective competitors must be between 21 and 35 years old and
have at least three professional fights.
The show is expected to be filmed in Australia and is nicknamed
“The Smashes” in reference to the longstanding cricket rivalry
between the two nations. It is currently unclear when taping will
begin, but the program will likely stick to the tape-delayed format
utilized in the first 14 seasons of the series. It is the second
time in the seven-year history of “TUF” that prospective fighters
will represent their country of origin; the first time took place
during Season 9 of the series, when Team USA battled team U.K.
“Australia and the UK have a fierce, long-standing rivalry, and
where better to settle the score than in the UFC’s Octagon?” said
Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s managing director of international
development. “The popularity of MMA has exploded in Australia and
the U.K., with gyms opening all over their respective countries.
There is an athlete in one of those gyms who hasn’t had the chance
to show the world what he can do – ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is going
give to him that opportunity. We’re going to discover the UFC’s
future stars, you can bet on it.”
The first international edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” is
currently airing in Brazil. Featuring Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei
Silva as rival coaches, “TUF Brazil” reached 12 million viewers for
its debut episode, according to the UFC release.