MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: TUF 18 Tryouts Take Place

UFC-157 The tryouts for TUF 18 took place today in Las Vegas, NV. The next season of the popular “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show airs this fall and the UFC today worked out 219 male bantamweights and 50 women bantamweights for casting on the show, according to The show — which will feature at least eight male bantamweight and eight women bantamweight fighters — will be filmed this summer and aired on FOX Sports 1 (formerly SPEED) this winter, and the coaches, who will fight in the main event of a future blockbuster pay-per-view, are UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and No. 1 contender Cat Zigano, who defeated Miesha Tate at this past weekend’s TUF 17 Finale to claim a title shot. The fighters will be told very shortly who made the final cut. Amongst the men who tried out for the show are LC Davis and Clint Godfrey, who each fought in the WEC; Strikeforce veteran Alvin Cacdac; and Score Fighting Series vet Josh Hill, who is one of the top unsigned Canadian fighters. Amongst the women are Roxanne Modafferi, who is one of the toughest female fighters in the sport; Tara LaRosa, who is one of the most talented female fighters in any weight class; and Kim Couture, who is the ex-wife of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture. Additionally, former UFC fighters Ulysses Gomez and Pat Schilling showed up to the tryouts but both were told they were illegible for the show based on their prior UFC experience (each fighter was 0-2 inside the Octagon). UFC president Dana White is always hyperbolic about “The Ultimate Fighter” but honestly, judging from the fighters who tried out today, this might be the best season of TUF yet. The UFC women’s bantamweight division is still very thin and some of the women who tried out today, like Modafferi and LaRosa, are extremely talented but have never got the chance to perform on the big stage yet. However, that will change this fall when the women finally get a chance to show what they bring to the table on TUF alongside the men who they will share the TUF house with. As far as the fight between Rousey and Zingano goes, this should be an excellent matchup between two of the very best female mixed martial artists in the world. Both women are undefeated in their careers and this will be the first UFC title match between two undefeated fighters since Lyoto Machida took on Rashad Evans at UFC 98, making it a blockbuster fight. The betting lines for this fight haven’t been released yet, but when they do you can expect Rousey to be a big favorite yet again, perhaps in the vicinity of -500 and compared to Zigano, who could open at +350 or higher, although with the hype behind Rousey it’s possible the line is closer to -800 like she was in first UFC fight against Liz Carmouche. Expect the names of possible cast members to start popping up in social media and on forums in the coming weeks and months in anticipation of hopefully one fantastic season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Written by Adam Martin.

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