During the UFC event on ESPN Saturday night, officials announced the return of The Ultimate Fighter beginning June 1 with Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega as coaches.
Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, and Ortega, a top contender, will lead teams of bantamweights and middleweights.
The two will meet for the belt at a date yet to be announced.
Sixteen fighters in the two divisions will compete to become the next winners of The Ultimate Fighter, a series that has helped launch the careers of Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and othes.
The entire twelve episode season of TUF 29 will be available exclusively on ESPN+, with one episode dropping each Tuesday beginning June 1. In addition, UFC fans can re-watch all 28 previous seasons of TUF on ESPN+, the industry-leading sports streaming service, with entire seasons premiering on the service each week through the end of May for bingeable viewing.
Undisputed UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, New South Wales, Australia) is unbeaten in almost eight years, including nine straight wins in the UFC. Volkanovski proved himself as one of UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with two title fight victories over Max Holloway, along with dominant performances against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins. Volkanovski now hopes to experience the same type of success in his first opportunity as a head coach.
Ortega (15-1, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) is determined to make 2021 the year his UFC title dreams become a reality. Two years removed from his first title challenge, Ortega hopes to apply the same skills that helped him defeat the likes of Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano, to foster the careers of future UFC stars.
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Brady Hiestand | 21 | 4-1 | Spokane, WA
Dustin Lampros | 26 | 5-0 | Deerfield Beach, FL
Vince Murdock | 30 | 11-6 | Sacramento, CA
Mitch Raposo | 22 | 5-0 | Fall River, MA
Joshua Rettinghouse | 31 | 16-5 | Spokane, WA
Liudvik Sholinian | 30 | 9-1 | Kiev, Ukraine
Ricky Turcios | 27 | 10-2 | Houston, TX
Aaron Phillips | 29 | 5-1 | Kotzbue, AK
Andre Petroski | 29 | 5-1 | Philadelphia, PA
Bryan Battle | 26 | 4-1 | Charlotte, NC
Ryder Newman | 25 | 3-1 | Las Vegas, NV
Tresean Gore | 26 | 3-0 | Decatur, GA
Miles Hunsinger | 30 | 7-0 | Las Vegas, NV
Kemran Lachinov | 30 | 10-3 | West Springfield, MA
Gilbert Urbina | 25 | 6-1 | Rio Grande Valley, TX