TUF News: The Ultimate Fighter 9 Cast



The ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 9) reality series is revealed. The 32 fighter “US vs. UK” series airs on April 1st on SpikeTV.

U.S. welterweights

  1. Ryan Biglar (2-1): Biglar, 24, is a jiu-jitsu fighter originally from Guam who represents the Cobra Kai in Las Vegas.
  2. Ray Elbe (20-11): A Muay Thai fighter, the 25-year-old Elbe has spent the last three years working on his game in Phuket, Thailand. The most notable man he’s faced was Renato Verissimo, who knocked him out in 2003.
  3. Christian Fulgium (6-2-1): A wrestler, Fulgium represents the Gladiator camp in Lafayette, La.
  4. DaMarques Johnson (13-6): Johnson took up MMA training while in the military. Training out of Elite Performance in Salt Lake City, Johnson once faced former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion Brock Larson, who submitted him in a 2005 bout.
  5. Kevin Knabjian (10-3-1): A wrester from Eastern Illinois University, the same school that produced UFC star Matt Hughes, the one-time WEC fighter trains at Gilbert Grappling in Chicago.
  6. Mark Miller (10-4): A Muay Thai fighter also based in Chicago, Miller trains at Dino Costeas MMA and Toro Muay Thai.
  7. Jason Pierce (9-0): A one-time collegiate soccer player, Pierce trains with the vaunted Miletich Fighting Systems camp in Bettendorf, Iowa.
  8. Kiel Reid (8-1): A native of Bettendorf, Reid also trains with Miletich, whose experience includes a 2004 fight against UFC veteran Luigi Fiorvanti.

U.S. lightweights

  1. Paul Bird (4-1): A striker, Bird trains at Des Moines (Iowa) MMA. He has fought in the Midwest Cage Championships promotion.
  2. Santino DeFranco (13-4): A wrestler and jiu-jitsu specialist, DeFranco has experienced fighting in the now-defunct International Fight League. He also helped coach Efrain Escudero, the TUF 8 winner.
  3. Jason Dent (19-9): A submission specialist, Dent runs his own gym in Mentor, Ohio, at Griffon Brawl. He is a UFC veteran who has losses to Roger Huerta and Gleison Tibau.
  4. Cameron Dollar (4-1): Dollar trains in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is a former teammate of TUF alums Cory Hill and Noah Thomas.
  5. Tom Hayden (4-0): A submission fighter, Hayden is trained by popular UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel in West Chester, Ohio.
    Waylon Lowe (5-2): Lowe, 28, also fights for Gurgel.
  6. Josh Souder (7-2): A member of Team Prodigy, Souder has faced castmate Jason Dent in 2005, losing by TKO.
  7. Richie Whitson (4-0): A native Alaskan who trains with Team Quest in Temecula, Calif., Whitson is a heavy-handed striker.

U.K. welterweights

  1. Dean Amarasinghe (4-1): A grappler from Nottingham, England, Amarasinghe trains at Rough House Gym.
  2. James Bateman (2-1): A striker, Bateman trains at Grimsby NHB in Grimsby, England.
  3. David Faulkner (2-1): A member of the Wolfslair team that features U.K. coach Michael Bisping and UFC star Quinton Jackson, Faulkner is a submissions expert.
  4. Tommy Maguire (5-2): The 20-year-old Maguire is a striker who works with the Tsunami Gym in Wisbech, England.
  5. Che Mills (7-2): A tall welterweight at 6-foot-2, Mills works with ex-UFC fighter Mark Weir’s Range Fighting Gym.
  6. Nicholas Osipczak (3-0): Osipczak trains in London with Pancrase UK. He’s finished all of his fights in the first round.
  7. Alex Reid (10-9-1): Reid, 33, trains in London with the London Shoot Fighters. He’s faced notable opponents such as Murilo Rua, Tony Fryklund, Dave Menne and Jorge Rivera.
  8. James Wilks (5-2): Trained by veteran Eric Paulson in Orange County, Calif., the 30-year-old Wilks is a striker.

U.K. lightweights

  1. James Bryan (3-1): A striker, Bryan, 25, is from Somerset, England.
  2. Dan James (3-0): A striker from Swansea, Wales, he’s finished two of his three pro bouts.
  3. Gary Kelly (2-1): A striker, the 25-year-old Kelly trains alongside Bisping and Jackson at Wolfslair in Liverpool, England.
  4. Jeff Lawson (13-2): A submission fighter with 12 finishes, Lawson trains with Team Bulldog in Dorset, England.
  5. Ross Pearson (9-3): A striker, Pearson trains at Sunderland Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Club in Sunderland, England.
  6. Martin Stapleton (5-1): A Muay Thai fighter, Stapleton is a product of Quannum Combat Arts.
  7. A.J. Wenn (7-2): A well-rounded fighter from the Tsunami Gym, Wenn is from Cambs, England.
  8. Andre Winner (9-2-1): Winner is a member of the Rough House team in London and is coming off a loss and a draw in his two fights prior to appearing on the show.
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  1. Ryan S

    March 9, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I think they still should have fought to get on the show. 32 guys fighting for each coutry's team. Why does U.K. have one more lightweight?


    March 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

    prolly so when some dumb fuck acts like junie browning they can send his dumb ass home. Paul Bird is pretty tough I have seen him fight in the MCC in Des Moines a few times and he made pretty short work of every opponent I have seen.

  3. Luke

    March 10, 2009 at 6:31 am

    The UK team is much stronger than i thought. Some of these guys are the best this country has.

    Andre Winner is a very talented guy, he trains with Dan Hardy and has great cardio and some good technical striking.

    Ross Pearson has held the Ultimate Force Lightweight belt aswell as the Strike and Submit 155 lb title.

    The Welterweight's that stand out for me are Che Mills and Alex Reid, Reid is very respected in the UK MMA scene and Mills has been one of the up and comers to look out for in this country for a couple of years now.

  4. tyler boggs

    March 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    US welterweight christian fulgum is a bitch. He thinks he is a badass cause he has one some smalltown bar fights. Go back to bein a speacial education teacher douche.

  5. mesir

    March 30, 2009 at 3:07 am

    the U.K team is stronger than the US team. A lot of the US guys are nobodys and almost all the UK guys have a good fight record and lots of experience… So there's something going on here. BTW Paul Bird is gonna make the finals, probubly.

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