TUF 20 tryouts will determine final 8 competitors for the show
The UFC is currently holding tryouts for The Ultimate Fighter season 20, which will feature the first ever, full cast of women’s fighters from the 115-pound strawweight division. The promotion signed 11 fighters as part of a buyout from Invicta Fighting Championships, with eight of those ladies going onto the reality show.
The other eight slots will be filled from the participants at today’s tryouts in Las Vegas.
The three competitors signed to the UFC but no longer on The Ultimate Fighter season 20 includes Paige VanZant, who was eliminated from the cast because she’s only 20-years old and producers require the fighters to be at least 21 due to alcohol that could be served while on the show. Also removed from the cast of TUF 20 are Brazilians Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha.
The latter name should stand out because Gadelha was looked at as a favorite to win the entire season of The Ultimate Fighter. The 25-year old Brazilian is currently 11-0 as a professional with eight knockouts or submission finishes to her credit. Gadelha was already the No. 1 contender in Invicta before the fighters were signed and moved over to the UFC, but now she’ll have to wait a little while longer before competing for the 115-pound title.
UFC officials confirmed to FOX Sports that all three fighters — Gadelha, VanZant and Lima — have UFC contracts in hand and will be fighting inside the Octagon, just not participating on the upcoming season of the reality show.
The eight fighters already signed who will enter the TUF house include — Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Rebecca Rawlings (formerly known as Bec Hyatt), Alex Chambers, Emily Kagan, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres and Joanne Calderwood.
Eight more fighters will be selected from today’s tryouts to round out the cast of 16, who will then move into The Ultimate Fighter house in July to begin filming for the show. The series will be coached by lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and top contender Gilbert Melendez.
The Ultimate Fighter 20 will premiere later this year on FOX Sports 1 with a debut date still to be determined.