UFC Reveals Cast of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 18′

The UFC’s reality show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ enters it’s 18th season with renewed interest as the show will feature women bantamweights for the first time.  With the marketing machine that is Ronda Rousey heading the cast opposite Meisha Tate as coaches for 16 women fighters, the UFC is looking to add depth to the growing weight class.   And the UFC deserves credit for the diversity of the cast, as it features a handful of seasoned veterans as well as new talent.  Who is going to win the contract is anybody’s guess.

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Though the cast has a handlful of 24 and 25 year olds, the cast relies heavily on veterans of the MMA game as Tara LaRosa (35) Shanya Bazler (33) and Tonya Evinger (33) are among the fighters booked.

If this series were shot in 2006, Tara LaRosa would likely be the favorite.  At 21-3 she has a fine record, and has wins over a great deal of the top talent among women, but sh is 35 years old and she looked flat in her last outing, which came in October of last year.  LaRosa is a non nonsense personality and if she conditions herself to be back on top, will be a threat to take it all.  It will be interesting to see how she handles Rousey, who has not paid the dues LaRosa had in this sport.

Another veteran of the cast who may be a dark horse is Roxanne Modaferri.  Modaferri is deadly serious in honing her fighting skills, and has lived for years in Japan teaching english and fighting in the women’s scene there.  She is a lovable ‘nerd’ type who can really fight.  Additionally, she can take a lot of punishment and also owns wins over many of the top talent from the early days of women’s MMA.

Here is a story few will even remember.  One of the top women fighters from the early days was a girl from Utah named Jennifer Howe (she was MMA fightersJeremy Horn;s long time girlfriend).   MOdaferri beat her quite unexpectedly, and manager Monte COx pushed hard for a rematch.  Cox was quoted as saying ‘Jennifer will beat her every time, it was a fluke’.

After Roxanne beat Howe a second time, Cox candidly said ‘I dont think Jennifer can beat her’.

The clash of veterans versus new blood will certainly lead to an interseting season of TUF, but who is going to win this thing is anyone’s guess.

About Miguel

MMA matchmaker since 1997. No one besides Joe Silva has made more fights than me.
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