Open tryouts for the upcoming season of the UFC reality series, which was originally to feature middleweights instead of lightweights, were held this week in the UK with US tryouts set for Monday in Chicago.
In addition to the weight class change, fighters will now be required to have a minimum of three professional fights before they’re eligible to be cast for the series.
UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping will coach the UK team, while the winner of a January bout between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson is likely to head the opposing US squad. The coaches are then expected to square off following the season finale.
16 lightweights and 16 welterweights, a total of 32 fighters, will be cast for season 9 and will square off in a preliminary round of bouts with the winners advancing to The Ultimate Fighter house and entering the dual 8-fighter tournaments.