According to a report Tuesday on ProMMAInsider.com, season 18 of "The Ultimate Fighter" is certainly shaping up to be a bit different than it's predecessors. Tryouts for the reality show will take place April 15 in Las Vegas, and for the first time, both men and women are welcome to participate.
UFC President Dana White, during the UFC prelims broadcast, made the announcement. On Tuesday, more details about the upcoming season were revealed. The main new component to the show is the addition of women to the mix. Considering the previous stance of White regarding women in the promotion, that comes as a major surprise.
The show is scheduled to air starting in the Fall of this year, and in another twist, Ronda Rousey will be coaching one side, while the winner of the upcoming Miesha Tate-Cat Zingano match will coach the other. Those two will be fighting as part of "The Ultimate Fighter 17" finale." Obviously, women coaches is another first.
As for the prospective fighters, "The Ultimate Fighter" applicants need to be at least 21 years-old, and have to be eligible to work in the United States. As part of recent changes made by the UFC, they must also have a minimum of three professional fights, with a winning record to show for it. This time, the competition is open to bantamweights, and those wishing to apply, need to apply at UFC.com.
The Palace Station Hotel will be the site of the auditions on April 15. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. PT, and all fighters need to bring appropriate gear with them in order to try out. Following the first day of work, fighters will be notified if they have been chosen to continue on in the casting process, and if they are, they will need to remain in Las Vegas through April 19.