||03-09-2009 06:54 PM
TUF Season 9 Cast Members
Thanks to MMAWeekly
1. Ryan Biglar (2-1): Biglar, 24, is a jiu-jitsu fighter originally from Guam who represents the Cobra Kai in Las Vegas.
2. Ray Elbe (20-11): A Muay Thai fighter, the 25-year-old Elbe has spent the last three years working on his game in Phuket, Thailand. The most notable man he's faced was Renato Verissimo, who knocked him out in 2003.
3. Christian Fulgium (6-2-1): A wrestler, Fulgium represents the Gladiator camp in Lafayette, La.
4. DaMarques Johnson (13-6): Johnson took up MMA training while in the military. Training out of Elite Performance in Salt Lake City, Johnson once faced former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion Brock Larson, who submitted him in a 2005 bout.
5. Kevin Knabjian (10-3-1): A wrester from Eastern Illinois University, the same school that produced UFC star Matt Hughes, the one-time WEC fighter trains at Gilbert Grappling in Chicago.
6. Mark Miller (10-4): A Muay Thai fighter also based in Chicago, Miller trains at Dino Costeas MMA and Toro Muay Thai.
7. Jason Pierce (9-0): A one-time collegiate soccer player, Pierce trains with the vaunted Miletich Fighting Systems camp in Bettendorf, Iowa.
8. Kiel Reid (8-1): A native of Bettendorf, Reid also trains with Miletich, whose experience includes a 2004 fight against UFC veteran Luigi Fiorvanti.
1. Paul Bird (4-1): A striker, Bird trains at Des Moines (Iowa) MMA. He has fought in the Midwest Cage Championships promotion.
2. Santino DeFranco (13-4): A wrestler and jiu-jitsu specialist, DeFranco has experienced fighting in the now-defunct International Fight League. He also helped coach Efrain Escudero, the TUF 8 winner.
3. Jason Dent (19-9): A submission specialist, Dent runs his own gym in Mentor, Ohio, at Griffon Brawl. He is a UFC veteran who has losses to Roger Huerta and Gleison Tibau.
4. Cameron Dollar (4-1): Dollar trains in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is a former teammate of TUF alums Cory Hill and Noah Thomas.
5. Tom Hayden (4-0): A submission fighter, Hayden is trained by popular UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel in West Chester, Ohio.
6. Waylon Lowe (5-2): Lowe, 28, also fights for Gurgel.
7. Josh Souder (7-2): A member of Team Prodigy, Souder has faced castmate Jason Dent in 2005, losing by TKO.
8. Richie Whitson (4-0): A native Alaskan who trains with Team Quest in Temecula, Calif., Whitson is a heavy-handed striker.
1. Dean Amarasinghe (4-1): A grappler from Nottingham, England, Amarasinghe trains at Rough House Gym.
2. James Bateman (2-1): A striker, Bateman trains at Grimsby NHB in Grimsby, England.
3. David Faulkner (2-1): A member of the Wolfslair team that features U.K. coach Michael Bisping and UFC star Quinton Jackson, Faulkner is a submissions expert.
4. Tommy Maguire (5-2): The 20-year-old Maguire is a striker who works with the Tsunami Gym in Wisbech, England.
5. Che Mills (7-2): A tall welterweight at 6-foot-2, Mills works with ex-UFC fighter Mark Weir's Range Fighting Gym.
6. Nicholas Osipczak (3-0): Osipczak trains in London with Pancrase UK. He's finished all of his fights in the first round.
7. Alex Reid (10-9-1): Reid, 33, trains in London with the London Shoot Fighters. He's faced notable opponents such as Murilo Rua, Tony Fryklund, Dave Menne and Jorge Rivera.
8. James Wilks (5-2): Trained by veteran Eric Paulson in Orange County, Calif., the 30-year-old Wilks is a striker.
1. James Bryan (3-1): A striker, Bryan, 25, is from Somerset, England.
2. Dan James (3-0): A striker from Swansea, Wales, he's finished two of his three pro bouts.
3. Gary Kelly (2-1): A striker, the 25-year-old Kelly trains alongside Bisping and Jackson at Wolfslair in Liverpool, England.
4. Jeff Lawson (13-2): A submission fighter with 12 finishes, Lawson trains with Team Bulldog in Dorset, England.
5. Ross Pearson (9-3): A striker, Pearson trains at Sunderland Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Club in Sunderland, England.
6. Martin Stapleton (5-1): A Muay Thai fighter, Stapleton is a product of Quannum Combat Arts.
7. A.J. Wenn (7-2): A well-rounded fighter from the Tsunami Gym, Wenn is from Cambs, England.
8. Andre Winner (9-2-1): Winner is a member of the Rough House team in London and is coming off a loss and a draw in his two fights prior to appearing on the show.
A lot of Mid-Westerners, a few Miletich guys, Team Quest, IFL, WEC and UFC vets; some of the US guys have crazy credentials and a lot of experience. The UK is already behind a few years in the MMA game (just like the East Coast was behind the West Coast for a while) and then they have to go and face these Americans with their impressive histories and camps. This should should be a pretty good season, I feel like I can get behind these fighters (as opposed to Bader or Junie) and relate/root for them. I tell you what kids, living in a different country really makes you appreciate your home land. (Single tear rolls down cheek as Star Spangled Banner plays in the distance as I stand in front of the American flag, hand over heart.)
I wonder how they are going to pick the first 16. Are the Brits going to have to fight each other to claim a place on the UK team, and the Americans the same. Or are they going to go US vs. UK right away... because that could lead to disproportionate team numbers if one country (Read: America) qualifies more representatives.