The 16 contestants competing in “The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK” have been revealed. The second international edition of the long-running series, dubbed “The Smashes” – a play on the 130 year-old cricket rivalry, will feature Australian fighters (coached by George Sotiropoulos) against British brawlers (lead by Ross Pearson – Pictured).
“These guys have definitely made the second international TUF show ‘can’t miss’ TV,” said UFC president Dana White. “Going into this thing, I had no idea just how much the Aussies and the Brits can’t stand losing to each other. Now I know.”
The Australian-produced series premieres September 19th at 7:30pm AEST on FX in Australia. The show’s 13 episodes follows the lightweights and welterweights as they live together in the TUF house, train and fight against each other for a prized UFC contract, culminating with a live three-hour finale in December.
No word on how North Americans will be able to watch the show.
Pearson’s participation in the show is unusual considering he’s coming off a loss and a DUI arrest. However, the Brit took Season 9 of TUF in 2009.
Speaking of peculiar moves, Sotiropoulos will be riding a two-fight losing streak into the show. The veteran was a contestant on TUF 6.
The TUF alum will collide once filming wraps on the reality series.
Here’s a look at Sotiropoulos’ squad:
Grant Blackler, 23, Sunshine Coast
Patrick Iodice, 19, GoldCoast
Richie Vaculik, 29, Sydney
Ben Wall, 23, Brisbane
Ben Alloway, 31, GoldCoast
Xavier Lucas, 31, Perth
Manuel Rodriguez, 27, Sydney
Robert Whitaker, 21, Sydney
Here are Pearson’s hopefuls:
Colin Fletcher, 29, Sunderland
Norman Parke, 25, Bushmills
Michael Pastou, 30, Essex
Mike Wilkinson, 24, Leigh
Luke Newman, 22, London
Bola Omoyele, 30, London
Valentino Petrescu, 30, Essex
Brad Scott, 23, Melksham