UFC® INVITES WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHTS AND BANTAMWEIGHTS AND MEN’S MIDDLEWEIGHTS TO TRYOUT FOR SEASON 26 OF
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®
Las Vegas – UFC® will begin the search for the next cast of The Ultimate Fighter® with an open casting call for women’s strawweights and bantamweights as well as men’s middleweights on Tuesday, May 23 in Las Vegas. Tryouts are open to all competitors aged 21-34 with at least three professional fights and a winning record. The season will begin filming in July and premiere on FS1 later this year.
Applications, which should be completed and brought to tryouts, can be found online at http://www.ufc.com/TUF26. The athletes will be required to grapple and hit pads, so please bring appropriate gear. Applicants will be notified at the end of the day if they have been selected to move on in the casting process. If selected, applicants must be prepared to stay in Las Vegas until Saturday, May 27. All questions can be directed to TUFcasting@ufc.com.
The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of some of the UFC’s most recognizable names and successful athletes. The series has produced six UFC champions including Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, TJ Dillashaw, Carla Esparza, and Matt Serra.
WHO: 115-pound women
WHEN: Tuesday, May 23 at 8 a.m. PT
WHERE: Palace Station Hotel
2411 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Visit the UFC® Press Portal for information and content to support your UFC coverage.
Tickets go on sale Friday, April 7at 10 a.m. MST. Ticket prices range from $30.00-$105.00 (includes convenience fee). Tickets are available for purchase at the Casino Del Sol gift shop and online at casinodelsol.com.
In advance of UFC’s first trip to Buffalo in more than 20 years, UFC will host a media conference call on Thursday, March 30 at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET with the stars of the main and co-main events.
In a rematch of their December 2014 Fight of the Night performance, champion Miocic (16-2, fighting out of Independence, Ohio) meets Dos Santos (18-4, fighting out of Salvador, Brazil) with the heavyweight world title at stake. Miocic, the No. 6-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, has been on a tear since the pair’s first meeting, recording four knockout victories over a who’s who of the division – Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Dos Santos walked out of the first matchup victorious and hopes to pick up where he left off in the second bout. The Brazilian first won the title in 2011 with a first-round knockout of Cain Velasquez. Since then he’s also recorded knockouts over Frank Mir and Mark Hunt. With 26 combined knockouts, this championship bout has Performance of the Night written all over it.
One of the most dominant champions in the UFC, Jedrzejczyk (13-0, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland) returns to the city where she captured UFC gold. This time around, the champion is looking to score her fifth successful title defense – ranking her as the second longest tenured UFC titleholder behind only Demetrious Johnson. One of the best strikers in the sport, Jedrzejczyk meets arguably her most well-rounded opponent to date in Andrade (16-5, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Owner of seven submission victories and five knockouts, Andrade can finish her opponent wherever the fight goes. She’s undefeated at 115 pounds and is riding a three-fight win streak as she heads into Dallas.
Plus, in a battle of old school versus new school, former lightweight champion and current No. 2 featherweight Frankie Edgar (20-5-1, fighting out of Toms River, N.J.) takes on No. 9 Yair Rodriguez (11-1, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) in what could produce a future challenger for the 145-pound crown. Edgar has long been one of the top athletes in the sport and has wins over BJ Penn, Jeremy Stephens, Chad Mendes and Urijah Faber. The 35-year-old New Jersey native has exceptional wrestling to go along with solid striking and jiu-jitsu and will be gunning for one more shot at the title. Perhaps the brightest prospect in MMA is 24-year-old Rodriguez, who is undefeated inside the Octagon®. Coming off his biggest win to date, a second-round knockout over UFC Hall of Famer Penn, Rodriguez looks to earn his place among the elite at 145 pounds by knocking off another legend in Edgar.
· One of the most feared jiu-jitsu players in MMA, No. 3 Demian Maia (24-6, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)hopes to keep his title aspirations alive against surging No. 6 Jorge Masvidal(32-11, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) in a welterweight showdown.
· Former lightweight champion, No. 3 Eddie Alvarez (28-5, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) and lethal finisher, No. 10 Dustin Poirier (21-5, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) collide at 155 pounds.
· In a battle of top five flyweights, Olympic gold medalist, No. 2 Henry Cejudo (10-2, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) meets flashy striker, No. 5 Sergio Pettis (15-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.).
· Fort Worth’s James Vick (9-1, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) gets a home game against knockout artist Polo Reyes (8-3, fighting out of Tepic, Mexico) in a lightweight duel.
· Arlington-based submission ace Chas Skelly (17-2, fighting out of Arlington, Texas) clashes with fellow jiu-jitsu specialist Jason Knight (19-2, fighting out of D’Iberville, Miss.) in a featherweight bout.
· Exciting up-and-comer Gabriel Benitez (19-6, fighting out of Tijuana, Mexico) takes on The Ultimate Fighter®: Latin America season 2 winner Enrique Barzola(13-3-1, fighting out of Lima, Peru) at 145 pounds.
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
HISTORY IN THE AIR IN KANSAS CITY AS UFC MAKES ITS DEBUT AND DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON GOES FOR HIS 10THTITLE DEFENSE AGAINST WILSON REIS AT SPRINT CENTER
The best fighter in the world, Johnson (25-2-1, fighting out of Parkland, Wash) will attempt to tie Anderson Silva’s record of 10 consecutive successful title defenses with a win in Kansas City. The 30-year-old has strung together 11 straight wins, six post-fight bonus awards and 14 finishes in his career. His athleticism is unparalleled and his speed and creativity has posed a problem for every foe he’s faced in the 125-pound division. Hoping to stop “Mighty Mouse’s” name from being added to the record books is Brazil’s Reis (22-6, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.). The fourth-ranked Brazilian owns what is arguably the most dangerous jiu-jitsu attack in the flyweight division. He’s got 10 submission victories to go along with his vicious ground-and-pound and ever-evolving striking. When Reis finally gets his shot at UFC gold, he hopes to bring a world title to the fans of Brazil.
The co-main event of the evening will pit two rising stars against each other at 115 pounds, as Namajunas (6-3, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) meets Waterson (14-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.). Namajunas has won three of her last four fights, her most recent win coming over No. 5 Tecia Torres. Waterson is the former Invicta FC atomweight champion, and she is a perfect 2-0 in the UFC, with both of her wins coming by rear naked choke. Both fighters’ own submission wins over No. 10 Paige VanZant, but the winner will score the biggest win of her career with a victory in Kansas City.
One of the most feared men in the UFC, Jacare Souza (24-4, 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) collides with one of the sport’s fastest rising stars in Robert Whittaker (18-4, fighting out of Sydney, Australia). The Brazilian has finished 17 of his fights via submission and another three by way of knockout. He’s an eight-time jiu-jitsu world champion and a former Strikeforce champion. A win over Whittaker will all but punch his ticket to the top of the middleweight division. New Zealand’s Whittaker packs a powerful punch that has accounted for eight knockouts, as well as a solid ground game that has produced four wins via submission. He’s coming off a first-round knockout over Derek Brunson and knows a victory over Jacare will catapult him into the title picture.
Kansas City resident, and the No. 10-ranked flyweight in the world Tim Elliott (14-7-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) will have the crowd behind him as he meets No. 12 Louis Smolka (11-3, fighting out of Kapolei, Hawaii). Elliott, who is coming off a championship bout against Johnson, will seek the biggest win of his UFC career when he enters the Octagon on April 15. Smolka has won four of his last six fights, finishing three of those four victories and earning a Performance of the Night bonus in two of them. The winner will lay claim to a spot in the top 10 of the 125-pound division.
Iconic Global Sports Brand UFC Makes Arena History by Joining
Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) as Anchor Tenants of “Best New Arena” in United States
LAS VEGAS (March 3, 2017) – Establishing an industry first, T-Mobile Arena has entered into an extended multi-year agreement with UFC® that names the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization as an Anchor Tenant of the arena owned by Las Vegas Arena Company, LLC, which is majority owned by AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).
The partnership, which also establishes T-Mobile Arena as UFC’s exclusive Las Vegas arena destination, marks the first time that a global sports brand, other than a professional sports franchise, has been named as an Anchor Tenant for a sports and entertainment venue. The milestone agreement was negotiated by UFC owners WME | IMG, LLC; Zuffa, LLC and the ownership partners of T-Mobile Arena, which opened April 6, 2016 and has already hosted three of UFC’s most successful events including UFC® 200: TATE vs. NUNES, UFC® 202: DIAZ vs. MCGREGOR 2 and UFC® 207: NUNES vs. ROUSEY.
“Las Vegas has always been the home of UFC, and after more than a decade it is awesome to now have a historic venue deal in the Fight Capital of the World to make it official,” UFC President Dana White said.
UFC Senior Vice President of Event Development and Operations Peter Dropick echoed White’s excitement: “In less than one year, we have set multiple records in the T-Mobile Arena and we look forward to continuing to work with our long-standing partners, both world leaders in the arena and entertainment sectors, to elevate and showcase the best of our brand.”
The comprehensive agreement calls for UFC to host a minimum of four events annually. UFC will have priority scheduling for designated major events windows, such as International Fight Week, and will have a presence at T-Mobile Arena – headlining the welcome sign in the lobby alongside the Vegas Golden Knights, as well as concourse activations, signage and retail space. WME | IMG also owns the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), which has a long-term agreement for its World Finals at T-Mobile Arena.
Todd Goldstein, Chief Revenue Officer, AEG, said, “From day one, AEG and MGM Resorts have been committed to developing a showplace for the very best in concerts, championship sporting events, awards shows and special events that would be unrivaled not only in Las Vegas but in our industries. There is no doubt that UFC is synonymous with the biggest and best events today that attract unprecedented international audiences on platforms of all kinds. T-Mobile Arena is truly a one-of-a-kind, world class arena that will create the most outstanding stage and atmosphere worthy of the incredible events of all kinds UFC and WME | IMG will bring to our venue and most importantly, our fans.”
Bill Hornbuckle, President of MGM Resorts International, said, “We have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with UFC for many years and are excited to enter into this exclusive agreement at T-Mobile Arena, a first for the industry. While UFC calls Las Vegas home, there are few brands as powerful globally. We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for years to come for the kind of spectacular events and entertainment that can only be found in this city.”
UFC joins the new Vegas Golden Knights NHL expansion team, set to begin play this fall, as the arena’s two Anchor Tenants. The 20,000-seat venue has been designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification and was recently named ‘Best New Arena’ by Pollstar Magazine.
UFC® 209: WOODLEY vs. THOMPSON 2 is scheduled for T-Mobile Arena this Saturday, March 4 and may be seen live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.