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As the UFC and FX get ready to re-launch The Ultimate Fighter reality series on the Fox-owned network with the TUF season 16 premiere on Sept. 14, casting for season 17 is already being mapped out.

Season 16 features welterweights, but the casting call for season 17 went out on Wednesday for both middleweight (185-pound) and light heavyweight (205-pound) fighters. All applicants must be 21 years of age with a winning record spanning at least three professional mixed martial arts fights.

Applicants must fill out the TUF Season 17 application and bring the completed and signed forms to the tryouts at the Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas at 8 a.m. PT on Sept. 17.

Applicants will be notified at the end of the tryouts if they have been selected to participate in the casting finals process. If selected applicants must be prepared to stay in Las Vegas until Sept. 22.

While past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter have typically followed a late spring and early fall timetable for the twice per year seasons, MMAWeekly.com sources indicate that TUF 17 is expected to buck that trend.

In past years, the first season of the year would begin filming in January with a spring broadcast schedule culminating in a finale in early June. For TUF 17, sources said that the season is expected to begin filming as soon as October of this year with its FX premier likely for January 2013.

Middleweights were most recently featured on TUF 11, where Court McGee emerged as season winner; while light heavyweights were last featured on TUF 8, the title captured by Ryan Bader.

TUF, which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters and has produced past champions such as Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra.

There have been no details revealed in regards to coaches for TUF 17.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more TUF 17 news as the season nears.

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