Getting to Know Your TUF 24 Flyweights: Team Cejudo

The Ultimate Fighter 24Season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter features former UFC flyweight title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo as the head coaches for eight 125-pound fighters each. The victor of the tournament will earn a six-figure UFC contract, as well as a shot at Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and his UFC flyweight title. The show airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (ET) on FOX Sports 1. Charlie Alaniz was the No. 14 seed in the tournament, and he was shipped to Team Cejudo when Coach Benavidez selected Tim Elliott with his first pick. In their opening round bout, he lost via bulldog choke submission in the opening frame. Heading into the tournament, the Hex Fight Series flyweight champion carried with him an 8-1 professional record and a five-fight winning streak. Alexandre Pantoja was the first pick by Coach Cejudo and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. He is an undefeated prospect who holds the RFA flyweight title and is a talented black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In the opening round of the tournament, he was pitted against No. 16 seed Brandon Moreno, and despite losing the first round to the underdog, he came back strong in the second to pull off a submission finish (rear-naked choke) and advanced in the tournament. In the quarterfinals of the tournament, the Brazilian will square off against fellow teammate Kai Kara-France. Adam Antolin is the No. 14 seed who automatically went to Team Cejudo when Coach Benevidez chose Damacio Page as his second pick. He carried his Tachi Palace flyweight title with him into the tournament, where he defeated the aforementioned Page via second-round TKO to advance in the tournament. The 34-year-old fighter is riding an impressive seven-fight winning streak heading into this tournament. In his quarterfinal bout, he is set to square off against Team Benavidez’s Hiromasa Ogikubo. Yoni Sherbatov was the second fighter chosen by Coach Cejudo and the No. 2 seed in the tournamet. In his opening round bout, he was upset by 15th-seeded Eric Shelton via second- round rear-naked choke submission. It was a technical submission, as the Russian refused to tap and went to sleep. Heading into this tournament, Sherbatov held Canada’s CFFC flyweight title. Jamie Alvarez was sent to Team Cejudo as the No. 10 seed of the tournament after Coach Benavidez selected Ronaldo Candido. The Brazilian defeated Alvarez via first-round rear-naked choke submission in the opening round of the tournament. Alvarez carried with him the Absolute Fighting Championship flyweight title heading into this competition. Matt Schnell was the third fighter picked by Coach Cejudo and the No. 6 seed in the tournament. He was the Legacy FC flyweight champion heading into the TUF house, and in his opening round bout, he squared off against Matt Rizzo and defeated him via triangle-choke submission in the second stanza. He will be facing UFC veteran and Titan FC flyweight champion Tim Elliott in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Nkazimulo Zulu was shipped to Team Cejudo as the No. 12 seed in the tournament when Coach Benevidez selected Japan Shooto flyweight title holder Hiromasa Ogikubo. In his opening round bout, he dropped a second-round rear-naked choke submission to Ogikubo. Zulu held the Extreme Fighting Championship flyweight title heading into the tournament. Terrence Mitchell went to Team Cejudo as the No. 8 seed in the tournament after Coach Benavidez selected ninth-seeded Kara-France for his team. In Mitchell’s opening round bout in the tournament, he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of Kara-France. Heading into this tournament, he held the Alaska Fighting Campionship flyweight title.

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz headlines Bellator 170 on January 21st

Fight Night 2’s Joe Riggs “I see me dropping Cody McKenzie on the feet, finishing on the ground”