Maynard and Diaz Headline TUF 18 Finale
TOP-10 LIGHTWEIGHTS MAYNARD & DIAZ HEADLINE HISTORIC
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER® FINALE ON FOX SPORTS 1
Finale Crowns Two Season 18 Winners Including The First-Ever The Ultimate Fighter Women’s Winner
LOS ANGELES, CA – The exciting and historic conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate, the 18th season of the Ultimate Fighting Championship®‘s reality series, takes place Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. For the first time ever, the Finale crowns both a man and a woman winner, live on FOX Sports 1. Both The Ultimate Fighter® winners receive a six-figure contract with the UFC® and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
In the main event, The Ultimate Fighter alums Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz meet for the third time in a pivotal lightweight battle. The No. 5-ranked Maynard (12-2-1,1NC) first faced No. 8-ranked Diaz (16-9) on season five of the reality series back in 2007, with Diaz prevailing and ultimately winning the entire season. Maynard evened the score in January 2010 with a split decision victory.
Also on the main card, the two bantamweight The Ultimate Fighter® winners will be crowned as Chris Holdsworth squares off against an opponent to be revealed on the Nov. 20 episode of The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate on FOX Sports 1, and Julianna Pena faces an opponent announced on the final episode Nov. 27.
Other announced fights on THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER® FINALE card include TUF 15 alum Drew Dober's UFC debut against Sean Spencer (10-2) in a welterweight match. Rani Yahya (19-7) takes on Tom Niinimaki (20-5) in what should be a clash of BJJ experts at featherweight. TUF season 14 alumni Akira Corassani (13-4-1) faces Maximo Blanco (9-4-1, 1NC) in a featherweight match, while Jared Rosholt (8-1) and Walt Harris (4-1) face each other in a heavyweight fight. The full fight card will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 27 after the last The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate semifinal on FOX Sports 1.
Coverage of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE begins Friday, Nov. 29 (7:00 PM ET) on FOX Sports 2 with the live UFC WEIGH-IN. Veteran combat sports journalist Karyn Bryant hosts the show, with UFC light heavyweight and The Ultimate Fighter season 17 coach Chael Sonnen and UFC middleweight contender and The Ultimate Fighter season three winner, and two-time coach, Michael Bisping providing analysis. Three-time MMA journalist of the year Ariel Helwani interviews fighters on-site in Las Vegas.
Fight day kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 30 with the live online prelims streaming on FOX Sports’ digital arm, FOXSports.com, starting at 7:00 PM ET.
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE PREFIGHT SHOW begins at 7:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 2 with hosts Jay Glazer, Sonnen and Bisping previewing all the bouts from the FOX Sports studios in Los Angeles. Preliminary bouts start at 8:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1, followed by the three-hour main event at 10:00 PM ET. Jon Anik and Kenny Florian call all the fights from Las Vegas. Additionally, FOX Sports’ Spanish-language network, FOX Deportes, has live coverage of the main card fights with Victor Davila and UFC heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum calling the action.
In the week leading up to fight night, FOXSports.com features extended coverage of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE, including interviews with the main fighters and a live blog during the fights. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter and use the hashtag #TUFONFS1 for the latest updates.
The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s signature reality series, made its debut on FOX Sports 1 in September. For the first time ever, the series featured two women coaching the teams. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Miesha Tate mentored male and female bantamweight (135 lbs) fighters – living and training together – vying for the title of The Ultimate Fighter and a six-figure contract with the UFC.
The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters including champions such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Matt Serra and season winners Michael Bisping, Ryan Bader and Nate Diaz. Bantamweights were most recently featured on The Ultimate Fighter 14, when John Dodson emerged as the season’s winner.
Following the fights from Las Vegas, the Octagon® heads to Brisbane, Australia for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: HUNT vs. BIGFOOT live on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, Dec. 6 (8:00 PM ET).