What it is advisable to know in regards to the return of the last word fighter

The ultimate fighter was a major force during the UFC’s explosion in popularity in the early 2000s – he lit up fighters like Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Ken Shamrock who trained a variety of MMA hopefuls in a seasonal competition in which all participants were housed in one place.

Over the course of 28 seasons, all of which can currently be seen on ESPN +, fighters like Forrest Griffin, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson and Kelvin Gastelum emerged, and the tension between the coaches, which built into a big one, found its own fight from week to week while fans could see everything behind the scenes.

The Ultimate Fighter returns for the 29th time (and for the first time since 2018) with UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and upcoming title challenger Brian Ortega. The show, which kicks off June 1 (after an Ultimate Fighter Launch Party on May 25) and runs for 12 weeks with a new episode airing every Tuesday on ESPN +, will feature eight bantamweight and eight middleweight fighters.

The trainers

Alexander Volkanovski

22-1 (9-0 in UFC)
Windang, New South Wales, Australia
32 years old

Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega train a dynamic cast of 16 ascending athletes who have put everything else in their lives aside to pursue their UFC dreams. Season premieres Tuesday June 1st. Check out ESPN +

Volkanovski made his UFC debut in 2016 and won his first four fights near home (three in Australia, one in New Zealand). After victories against Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo, Volkanovski got a shot at Max Holloway’s UFC Featherweight Championship in Las Vegas in December 2019 and won the title by unanimous decision at UFC 245. In his first title defense against Holloway at UFC 251, Volkanovski won in July 2020 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi a much closer decision about Holloway.

His second scheduled title defense against Ortega was originally scheduled for UFC 260 on March 27, 2021, but Volkanovski was forced to abandon the fight following a COVID diagnosis for which he was hospitalized. The delay set the stage for Volkanovski and Ortega to fight after the climax of this Ultimate Fighter season.

Brian Ortega had a win over Chan Sung Jung in October 2020. Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Brian Ortega

15-1, 1 NC (7-1, 1 NC in the UFC)
Torrance, California
30 years old

Ortega made his UFC debut in 2014 but still has the same number of fights in promotion as Volkanovski. Injuries and delays have hampered Ortega’s dynamic on several occasions, with layoffs of 11 months (between July 2014 and June 2015) and 13 months (between June 2016 and July 2017) slowing Ortega. Despite the stop-and-start character of his career, Ortega won four wins in a row against Clay Guida (KO), Renato Moicano (guillotine choke submission), Cub Swanson (guillotine choke submission) and Frankie Edgar (KO) Title challenge against Max Holloway, a year and a week before Volkanovski’s shot.

Ortega suffered the first defeat of his pro-MMA career at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto when the doctor abandoned the fight at the end of the fourth round because of damage to Ortega’s face. Ortega was scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung in December 2019, but had to retire from the fight a few weeks before the scheduled date due to a knee injury. After Ortega’s longest career layoff to date to 22 months, Ortega finally returned to the Octagon and defeated Jung by unanimous decision on Fight Island in October 2020.

The fighters


Al Powers / ESPN Images

Danny Argueta | 27 | 5-0

Nickname: The determined

Place of birth: Chicago

Fights from: Albuquerque, NM

Gym): Jackson Wink Academy and Gracie Barra

Trainer / Trainer: Greg Jackson, Mike Winklejohn and Cub Swanson

Combat history: Illinois High School State Medalist in Wrestling, NCAA Div. II Wrestler (University of Wisconsin – Parkside) and team captain.

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Brady Hiestand | 21 | 4-1

Nickname: Bam Bam

Place of birth: Spokane, Washington

Fights from: Spokane, Washington

Gym: Sik-Jitsu

Trainer / Coach: Rick Little

Combat history: Brown belt BJJ, black belt karate

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Dustin Lampros | 26 | 5-0

Nickname: Scrappy

Place of birth: Freeburg, Il

Fights from: Freeburg, Il

Gym: Sanford MMA

Trainer / Coach: Henri Hooft

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Vince Murdock | 30 | 11-6

Place of birth: Oakland County, Michigan

Fights from: Sacramento, ca.

Gym: Team Alpha Male

Trainer / Trainer: Joey Rodriguez, Mike Mallot, Danny Castillo, Chris Holdsworth and Urijah Faber

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Mitch Raposo | 22 | 5-0

Place of birth: Fall River, Mass.

Fights from: Fall River, Mass

Gym: Regiment training center

Trainer / Trainer: Brian Raposo, Tommy Teixeira

Combat history: Undefeated Pro & Amateur MMA Record, Cage Titans Champion (Amateur)

Photo by Al Powers / ESPN Images

Josh Rettinghouse | 31 | 16-5

Place of birth: Spokane, WA

Fights from: Spokane, WA

Gym: Warrior camp MMA

Trainer / Coach: Pablo Alfonso

Combat history: BJJ Brown Belt

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Liudvik Sholinian | 30 | 9-1

Nickname: Palmeyros

Place of birth: Alaverdi, Armenia

Fights from: Kiev, Ukraine

Gym: Aurum (Kiev), KDMMA (Los Angeles)

Trainer / Trainer: Alexandr Pudochkin, Karen Parabedyan

Combat history: Ukrainian national wrestling champion, Ukrainian national MMA champion (amateur)

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Ricky Turcios | 27 | 10-2

Nickname: Ricky Hadouken

Place of birth: Houston, Texas

Fights from: Houston, Texas

Gym: Gracie Barra The Woodlands (Texas) and Team Alpha Male

Trainer / Trainer: Alex Morono, Urijah Faber, Danny Castillo, Matt Wald, Joey Rodriguez and Chris Holdsworth

Combat history: Black belt in Taekwondo, brown belt in BJJ

medium weight

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Aaron Phillips | 29 | 5-1

Place of birth: Kotzebue, Alaska

Fights from: Kotzebue, Alaska

Combat history: Alaska Wrestling State Champion

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Andre Petroski | 29 | 5-1

Place of birth: Chester, Pennsylvania

Fights from: Philadelphia

Gym: Renzo Gracie Philly

Trainer / Trainer: Daniel Gracie, John Marquez

Combat history: Purple belt BJJ

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Bryan Battle | 26 | 4-1

Nickname: Pooh Bear

Place of birth: Springfield, MD

Fights from: Charlotte, NC

Gym: Hayastan MMA

Trainer / Trainer: Tom Ziegler, Kevin Forant

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Ryder Newman | 25 | 3-1

Nickname: rhino

Place of birth: The Vegas, Nevada

Fights from: Las Vegas

Gym: Xtreme couture

Trainer / Coach: Eric Nicksick

Combat history: TUFF-N-UFF Welterweight World Champion (amateur)

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Tresean Gore 26 | 3-0

Nickname: Mr. Vicious

Place of birth: Myrtle Beach, SC

Fights from: Decatur, Georgia

Gym: American top team

Trainer / Coach: Dhiego Five

Combat history: High quality purple belt in BJJ

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Miles Hunsinger | 30 | 7-0

Nickname: Gun slinger

Place of birth: Nampa, Idaho

Fights from: Las Vegas

Gym: Xtreme couture

Trainer / Coach: Amir Sadollah

Combat history: Runner-up Idaho Wrestling (Amateur)

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Facebook Facebook Logo Log in to Facebook to connect with Kemran Lachinov 30 | 10-3

Nickname: Killa Kam

Place of birth: Uzbekistan

Fights from: West Springfield, MA

Gym: Team link

Trainer / Trainer: Marco Alvan, Jason Franklin and Daniel Fagan

Combat history: Purple belt in BJJ; 5-1 record in Bellator including winning streak in five fights

Al Powers / ESPN Images

Gilbert Urbina | 25 | 6-1

Nickname: The RGV Badboy

Place of birth: Ripon, WI

Fights from: Rio Grande Valley, TX

Gym): Team Urbina MMA, Jackson Wink

Trainer / Trainer: Greg Jackson, Mike Winklejohn

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