The 29th season of The ultimate fighter premieres June 1 on ESPN +, and the UFC announced the list of fighters competing for contracts with the promotion. With 145-pound champion Alexander Volkanovski and contender Brian Ortega as coaches, the season will feature eight bantamweight and eight middleweight.
This is the third time Bantamweight has been featured on TUF, with John Dodson and Chris Holdsworth winning previous seasons. This year’s 135-pound trophy will be at stake for Daniel Argueta (5-0), Brady Hiestand (4-1), Dustin Lampros (5-0), Vince Murdock (11-6), Mitch Raposo (5-0) ), Joshua Rettinghouse (16-5), Liudvik Sholinian (9-1) and Ricky Turcios (10-2).
TUF 29 will be the reality show’s seventh season to include middleweights, with figures like Diego Sanchez, Travis Lutter and Kevin Gastelum capturing trophies in the past. The 2021 middleweight roster includes Aaron Phillips (5-1), Andre Petroski (5-1), Bryan Battle (4-1), Ryder Newman (3-1), Tresean Gore (3-0), Miles Hunsinger ( 7-0), Kemran Lachinov (10-3) and Gilbert Urbina (6-1).
The UFC has yet to announce the date for the TUF 29 Finale event, as well as the date and location of Volkanovski vs Ortega. The Featherweights were originally scheduled to fight on March 27 in Las Vegas, but the reigning UFC champion has tested positive for COVID-19.