It appears the "wildcard" is back for the 17th installment of The Ultimate Fighter as the UFC released the 28 preliminary 185 pound TUF fighters.
The debut episode will be a two hour affair for the middleweightfighters to get into the house. Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen are the coaches, and you can be sure Sonnen will be talking major trash throughout the season.
My initial thoughts on the cast is that there are several decent veterans along with some unknown undefeated fighters. There are some interesting prospects who have big time knockout power. One fighter is rumored to have the whole house scared to fight him.
Uriah Hall (7-2)- The Jamaican born, New York trained kickboxers only two losses are to UFC title contenders Constantinos Philippou and Chris Weidman. He has a TKO over Edwin Aguilar in Bellator and is currently on a 3 fight win streak. Hall also competed in Chuck Norris' WCL kickboxing league on the New Jersey Tigers.
Tor Troeng (15-4-1)- The Swedish veteran fighter is 11-1 in his last 12 fights only losing to Thales Leites. He has submission wins over Rafeal Silva (38-13) and Mark Weir.
Zak Cummings (15-3)- The Bellator and Strikeforce fighter has fought around the midwest, defeating Terry Martin and Rudy Bears. He has 8 submission wins and 4 TKO wins on his resume.
Nik Fekete (5-1)- An All-American wrestler out of Michigan State, Fekete suffered his lone defeat via submission in Bellator. He has fought primarily at 205, picking up wins over Ovince St. Preux and Mark Griffin in Bellator.
Bubba McDaniel (20-6)- The Elite XC and Bellator veteran has won 6 straight with 15 total submission wins on his resume. He has defeated several legit veterans including Eric Schambari (15-3), Johnny Rees and Kala Hose.
Dylan Andrews (16-4-1)- The New Zealander has 10 KO's on his resume fighting at 205 and 185 mainly on the Australian fight circuit. He has a win over Shonie Carter.
Luke Barnatt (5-0)- The 6'6" English fighter has fought in BAMMA and UWC defeating Lee Johnson (5-2) via submission and won a decision over Ben Callum (5-1).
Josh Samman (9-2)- The Florida fighter and WWFC champ last defeated Bellator vet Mikey Gomez via submission due to punches, and has beat Chris Cope via KO.
Mike Jasper (6-0)- The Elite MMA fighter has won twice in BAMMA USA, last defeating Manny Murillo (previously undefeated at 4-0) via split decision.
Adam Cella (4-0)- A member of Finney's Hit Squad in Missouri, Cella has a kickboxing background. He has 2 KO's and 2 submissions in the first round.
Jake Heun (3-2)- The former fullback and linebacker at the University of Hawaii has fought exclusively at heavyweight during his career, only losing to NCAA champ Mark Ellis and undefeated Richard Odoms. He has tons of power, but is very raw with 2 KO wins and 1 submission on his resume.
Timothy Williams (7-1)- The "Southside Strangler" has 5 wins via choke submission and 2 TKO's. Williams has defeated UFC veteran Andrea Gusmao, Bellator veteran Tiawan Howard and Joey Kirwin. His only loss is to UFC vet Dustin Jacoby.
Scott Rosa (4-1)- The 6'6" normally fights at 205 and has KO'd UFC vet James Irvin.
Kito Andrews (9-2)- Fighting primarily on the west coast, the oldest fighter in the cast at 34 years of age, has won 7 straight.
Leo Bercier (7-2)- The Montana trained fighter and Native American swings for the fences and has 6 KO wins.
Jimmy Quinlan (3-0)- The Massachusetts fighter was a successful collegiate wrestler and brown belt in BJJ. 2 of his wins are via first round submission.
Nicholas Hohring (3-0)- The Cesar Gracie fight team member in undefeated but hasn't fought since 2010.
Kelvin Gastelum (4-0)- The 5'9" spark plug has 2 KO's and 2 submissions while fighting less than stellar competition.
Eldon Sproat (3-1)- Not one of the Hawaiin brawler's fights have gone past 2:14 in the first round.
Clint Hester (7-3)- Fighting pro for 4 and half years, the former boxer has several quality wins fighting in the southeast.
Gilbert Smith (5-1)- The Colorado fighter has 4 submission wins.
Andy Enz, (6-1), 21, Anchorage, Ala.
Collin Hart (4-1-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Eric Wahlin (5-1), 29, Taylorsville, Utah
Ryan Lee Q. Bigler (9-3), 28, Guam
Fraser Opie (10-5), 25, Milton Keynes, England
Kevin Casey (5-2), 31, Hawthorne, Calif.