'TUF Nations' cast members revealed
DEC 05, 2013 3:13p ET
The newest edition of The Ultimate Fighter will debut on Jan. 15 on FOX Sports 1 with two countries squaring off with a group of middleweights and welterweights trying to earn a spot on the UFC roster.
The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia will pit coach Patrick Cote and his team of Canadians against Kyle Noke and his squad of Australians over 12 weeks all leading to a finale that will crown the two newest champions of the storied reality show.
On Thursday, UFC officials announced the cast that will make up the teams for Canada and Australia with the show kicking off on television next month.
“If guys thought fighting in the toughest tournament on television was hard, imagine how they feel doing it with a whole country on their shoulders.”
First up for the Canadian team:
Welterweights for Team Canada
Oliveir Aubin-Mercier 4-0 from Montreal
Matthew Desroches 4-0 from Fredericton
Kajan Johnson 19-10 from Montreal
Chad Laprise 7-0 from London, Ontario
Middleweights for Team Canada
Luke Harris 10-2 from St. Albert, Alberta
Nordine Taleb 8-2 from Montreal
Elias Theodurou 8-0 from Toronto
Sheldon Westcott 8-1 from St. Albert, Alberta
On the other side of the cage will stand a team of eight Australians, who will travel to Canada to film the show while all of them fighting for a chance to compete in the UFC. Noke will lead his team and give them advice to make it through the show after he was a competitor on The Ultimate Fighter a few years ago as well.
Welterweights for Team Australia
Chris Indich 6-1 from Perth
Jake Matthews 6-0 from Melbourne
Brendan O'Reilly 5-0 from Brisbane
Richard Walsh 7-1 from Sydney
Middleweights for Team Australia
Vik Grujic 6-2 from Melbourne
Daniel Kelly 6-0 from Melbourne
Tyler Manawaroa 10-0 from Brisbane
Zein Saliba 4-0 from Sydney
This latest cast of fighters will now face off with home country pride also on the line in addition to the potential six-figure contract from the UFC. Every year that The Ultimate Fighter has done a season pitting country against country, some of the nastiest rivalries have ended up happening.
Don't expect this season to be any different.
"If guys thought fighting in the toughest tournament on television was hard, imagine how they feel doing it with a whole country on their shoulders," UFC President Dana White said. "These country vs. country seasons of The Ultimate Fighter are awesome because not only do these guys deal with living in a house with other fighters, training twice a day and putting everyone on the line for their dream opportunity, but now it's even more personal - it's patriotic. Next season we lined up one of the deepest talent pools with some of the toughest up and coming fighters and put national bragging rights on the line along with the UFC contract as Canada and Australia go head-to-head to kick off 2014."
When the season is all said and done the coaches will also battle it out with Cote and Noke both looking to represent their teams, countries and each looking to get a step up in the always tough, UFC welterweight division.
The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia will debut at 10pm ET/PT on FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday, January 15.