The 17th season of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s famed reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter, began on Tuesday with a special two-hour premiere on FX. Twenty-eight middleweight (185 pounds) fighters squared-off in 14 elimination fights, vying for a coveted spot on the series and their chance to win a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Premiere episode fight match-ups and results:
· Adam Cella, Fenton, Mo., submitted Jake Heun, Salt Lake City, in 1st round
· Zak Cummings, Kansas City, Mo., def. Nik Fehete, Las Vegas by TKO in 1st round
· Kevin Casey, Hawthorne, Calif., submitted Eldon Sproat, Kaunakakai, Hawaii, in the 1st
· Tor Troeng, Umea, Sweden, submitted Scott Rosa, Sparks, Nev., in the 1st
· Clint Hester, Atlanta, Ga., by unanimous decision over Frasier Opie, Milten Keynes, England
· Bubba McDaniel, Albuquerque, N.M. def. Ryan Bigler, Barrigada, Guam by TKO in the 2nd
· Josh Samman, Tallahassee, Fla., def. Leo Bercier, Great Falls, Mon. by TKO in the 1st
· Kelvin Gastelum, Yuma, Arz., by unanimous decision over Kito Andrews, Sacramento, Calif.
· Jimmy Quinlan, Metheun, Mass., def. Mike Persons, Stockton, Calif. by TKO in the 2nd
· Uriah Hall, New York City, by unanimous decision over Andy Enz, Anchorage, Alaska
· Gilbert Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., submitted Eric Wahlin, Taylorsville, Utah, in the 1st
· Luke Barnatt, Cambridge, Eng., by unanimous decision over Nicholas Kohring, Valley Springs, Calif.
· Dylan Andrews, Gold Coast, Aus., by majority decision over Tim Williams, Millville, N.J.
· Collin Hart, Santa Rosa, Calif., submitted Mike Jaspar, Camarillo, Calif., in the 1st
Team Sonnen won the coin toss, electing to pick first. Below are the final rosters, in order each was selected, are:
Team Jones, therefore had the option of the first fight pick and chose Gilbert Smith versus Team Sonnen’s Luke Barnatt.
The series resumes next Tuesday, January 29, on FX at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings for Central and Mountain Time) In that episode – “Ambush” – 14 victorious middleweights move into the house, and training begins. A fighter gets emotional after his team shows serious doubts about his readiness. Then Barnatt and Smith face off in the first preliminary fight.