Announcements regarding the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter seem to have gone under the radar.
While barely promoted to the masses, it appears applications have closed and the UFC has made their decisions on filming dates, the weight classes they plan to feature, and the fighters that could make the final casting cut.
According to sources, two Dana White’s Contender Series alumnus are heading to Vegas next week for the show. Michigan’s Mando Gutierrez and Kenny Cross are on tap for the upcoming TUF season, which is slated to begin filming by the end of the week.
Historically, the show is filmed over the course of 5-6 weeks after casting has been finalized and alternates are set. Though the season’s coaches are currently unknown to the public, based on Cross & Gutierrez’s selections — it seems the UFC has decided to go with an all-male season featuring lightweight and bantamweight fighters.
DWCS Alumni Headed to Vegas
Kenny “The Boss” Cross is a lightweight stud that was featured on Season 4 of Contender Series. Though he won his fight, Dana decided not to sign him. It’s unfortunate that leading up to fight night, Kenny had an opponent change, date change, and ultimately had to cut weight back-to-back weeks.
In his attempt to be a company man, he was slighted and eventually took his talents to the XFC where he went 2-0.
Mando “El Toro” Gutierrez is a bantamweight that was recently on Season 6 of DWCS. He lost a unanimous decision to the highly touted 17-year-old, Raul Rosas Jr. About a month later, he bounced back at WXC 88 with a first-round finish. If chosen after the final casting cut, The Murcielago MMA prospect will continue in his pursuit of a UFC contact on TUF 31.
It’s worth noting that there is a strong possibility the season could actually be featuring 145ers & 155ers, since the UFC recently featured bantamweights on TUF 29. Also, fighters on the show are notorious for fighting a weight class up because semi-finalists must cut weight twice, in a short span of time.
Even though both Michigan fighters were flown out to Vegas, there is still a final medical process that must be passed before making it on to the show. There is usually an alternate for both divisions that gets set too, and they could enter at any point in the competition… We’ll have to wait for further confirmation or announcements regarding The Ultimate Fighter, Season 31.
If it’s anything like the last two years, the cast will be likely revealed during an upcoming UFC Fight Night.
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